Vietnam News

Facebook slammed for blocking government-critical posts in Vietnam

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Press freedom group Reporters Without Borders on Friday night (Oct 31) accused Facebook of blocking posts in Vietnam containing links to German media articles critical of the government.

Vietnamese journalist Trung Khoa Le, who lives in Germany, contacted the group after four of his posts were blocked in Vietnam “due to local legal restrictions” in mid-October, according to a statement.

Reporters Without Borders said the blocked posts contained links to an article in the German newspaper taz about alleged involvement of a relative of the Vietnamese interior minister in drug smuggling.

Another post linked to an article by German broadcaster ARD about a hacker group from Vietnam who apparently spied on regime critics in Germany.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to dpa that some links are being blocked in Vietnam, adding that operating in the country over the last few months had been “a special challenge”.

Facebook seeks to have a constructive exchange with the governments of countries in which it operates, the spokesperson added, and aimed to defend freedom of expression worldwide.

“We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that our services continue to be available to the people in Vietnam who depend on them on a daily basis,” the spokesperson said.

“Especially in countries with limited freedom of the press, social media such as Facebook give many journalists the opportunity to report freely,” said Reporters Without Borders Germany chief Christian Mihr in the statement.

“Facebook must be aware of this responsibility, clearly acknowledge freedom of the press and must not bow to possible censorship requirements of authoritarian regimes,” he added.

Deutsche Presse Agentur – November 1st, 2020

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