Facebook is facing accusations from Vietnam that the social media giant did not remove content that it said was "slanderous," reported Financial Times.
Citing a briefing in Hanoi, Vietnam on Tuesday (Jan. 8), Financial Times reported that the country's Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information said Facebook violated Vietnamese law in how it managed online content, advertising and taxes. Pointing to reports in state media, the paper reported the Ministry of Information and Communications is mulling preventing cash from going to what it calls "hatred advertising" on Facebook, and was withholding taxes to deal with the violations of Vietnamese law. It went on to say, according to the report, that Facebook let people in the country post what it called “slanderous content, anti-government sentiment and libel and defamation of individuals, organizations and state agencies," violating the cybersecurity laws in the country that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Vietnam said Facebook delayed taking down content and wouldn't provide information on accounts.
In response, Facebook said it removed content in compliance with the laws in Vietnam. Facebook said in response that it was diligent about removing content in compliance with local law. “We have a clear process for governments to report illegal content to us, and we review all these requests against our terms of service and local law,” the company said, according to Financial Times. “We are transparent about the content restrictions we make pursuant with local law in our transparency report.”
The report noted that outside of Google, Facebook is the most popular website in Vietnam, serving as the mechanism for people to have open discussions on politics, including criticizing the ruling Communist party in the country. Vietnam has been moving to cut off the power of tech companies via its new law, which requires overseas companies with an online presence to store the data locally and to have an office in the country, noted the report.