Ministry requests Facebook to authenticate accounts in Vietnam

Facebook has removed 200 links that contain anti-state content, according to Vietnamese authorities.

May 13, 2019 - Poland - In this photo illustration a Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Credit Image: © Omar Marques/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire

Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications has requested Facebook to begin authenticating accounts of Vietnamese users on the social network in the country’s two biggest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and to only offer live streaming to authenticated users.

The request was part of a report sent to the Vietnamese legislative body, the National Assembly. According to the report, regulators also wants Facebook to put in place a pre-check policy and immediately bar any political ads that contain fake news upon request by the Vietnamese government.

To date, Facebook has removed 208 fake accounts and 200 links to articles that have anti-state content in violation of Vietnamese law, the ministry said.

In a question-and-answer session at the National Assembly today, Minister Nguyen Manh Hung acknowledged the challenges Vietnam faces in pushing tech giants such as Facebook and Google to cooperate in terms of content removal, as neither has a physical presence in Vietnam.

Minister Hung, who has been advocating for Vietnam to build strong homegrown social networks, said that the target is to close the gap between the number of Vietnamese users using locally developed social networks and foreign social networks by 2021 at the latest.

Vietnam currently has about 64 million active social media users, according to statistics from We Are Social.