The last year was not a good one for Facebook and now the firm seems to have angered the Vietnamese government just nine days into the new year.
According to a report by Reuters, Facebook has violated a new Vietnamese cybersecurity law that was introduced on 1st January by allowing users to post anti-government comments on the platform.
The Ministry of Information and Communication in Vietnam said that users were also allowed to post slanderous content and defamation of individuals and organisations on Facebook.
“This content had been found to seriously violate Vietnam’s Law on cybersecurity,” the ministry was quoted as saying.
The ministry also added that Facebook had not responded to a request to remove fan pages that were “provoking activities against the state”.
In response, a Facebook spokesperson said, “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.”
Reuters goes on to report that a number of technology companies and rights groups said that the new Vietnam law would stifle innovation in the country and undermine development.
It’s interesting to see so many countries starting to push back on Facebook’s presence. This was brought to the fore last year when the platform was found to have helped spread dissent and misinformation in Myanmar.
Granted, the situation in Vietnam is entirely different but perhaps Facebook needs to start taking into account that not everybody follows the US rule book about what content is good and what content isn’t permitted online.