Selin ATAY-TDO- The Vietnamese government has demanded that Facebook censor political content on its platform. The government announced that Facebook's access to Vietnam would be cut off if it did not comply with the censorship request.
Facebook complied with a government request in April to significantly increase its censorship of “anti-state” posts for local users. However, the Vietnamese government continued after April, increasing its demands for censorship.
Facebook and the Vietnamese government had reached an agreement, according to a Facebook official. However, while Facebook fulfilled its obligations under the agreement, the Vietnamese government did not fulfill its obligations under the agreement.
"They have consistently come to us with more requests about what kind of content to censor. They have come back to us and sought to get us to increase the volume of content that we’re restricting in Vietnam. We’ve told them no. That request came with some threats about what might happen if we didn’t.” the Facebook official said in a statement.
In a statement, Vietnamese officials said that Facebook must comply with the laws of the country in which it is located and stop spreading information and content that destroys traditional Vietnamese culture, values and endangers state interests.
Facebook is said to generate nearly $ 1 billion in annual revenue from the Vietnamese market, where it has 60 million users.
Although Facebook has faced similar requests for restrictions and pressure for content regulations in several countries, it has never been completely banned in any country before.
The Communist Party maintains a policy of strict control over the Vietnamese media and tolerates dissent at a very low level. A report by Reporters Without Borders ranks Vietnam as the fifth worst country in the world in terms of freedom of press and expression.