Tech Giants Facebook, YouTube, and Google Accused of Censoring Content in Vietnam

In the past few months, tech giants Facebook and Google have been accused of censoring dissent at the behest of the local authorities in Vietnam.

Amnesty International has accused them and many others of censoring dissent at the behest of the authorities in Vietnam. In a 78-page long report, Amnesty International has reported how tech giants are operating in repressive countries. Also, they have accused Facebook and YouTube of blocking content that is deemed critical of the authorities.

The report proposed by Amnesty International titled ‘Let us Breathe!’ Censorship and criminalization of online expression in Viet Nam’ which is based on dozens of interviews with human rights activists. The report even includes their former prisoners of conscience, journalists, lawyers, and writers.

In the report, it is also stated that the country is holding as many as 170 people for criticizing authorities, of whom 69 are held for their social media activity.

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“In the last decade, the right to freedom of expression flourished on Facebook and YouTube in Viet Nam. More recently, however, authorities began focusing on peaceful online expression as an existential threat to the regime. Today these platforms have become hunting grounds for censors, military cyber-troops, and state-sponsored trolls.

The platforms themselves are not merely letting it happen – they’re increasingly complicit,” said Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns.

In April, Facebook has announced that they had agreed to the request from authorities to increase its compliance to remove content deemed “anti-national”.

In response, the social media giant justified that its decision to agree with the authorities as they were deliberately slowing the traffic down in Vietnam to convey a warning.

Meanwhile, YouTube is popularly known to be the favorite of the authorities due to its high rate of compliance with requests from local law bodies.