Cyber authority tightens up on harmful content

June 10, 2023 - 08:37

For every 100 dollars generated by illegal activities on YouTube globally, a shocking 55 dollars come from Việt Nam.


TikTok application on a smart phone. Việt Nam's cyber authority is tightening up on the platform to curb harmful content. XINHUA/VNA Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's cyber watchdog is seeking to tighten its grip on social media to keep the country's cyberspace free of 'harmful content'.

That is what the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) is doing. The authority said it had threatened bans on non-compliant social media to prevent users' exposure to harmful content in cyberspace. 

The authority took YouTube as an example. It said Youtube would get its application removed from smart televisions if the corporation allows harmful content to continue unchecked on the platform.

The move comes after the Deputy Ministry of Information and Communications Nguyễn Thanh Lâm warned of online illegal activities going on the rampage in Việt Nam.

He clarified his claim by stating that for every 100 dollars generated by illegal activities on YouTube globally, a shocking 55 dollars come from the country. 

"Vietnamese users take the lead globally in using cyberspace to conduct malicious activities," said Lâm.

The Deputy Minister also underlined some illegal practices employed by malicious users on YouTube to gain profits. A noteworthy one involves uploading Japanese pornography on fake channels and selling the channels to other users.

Another trick is to live-stream football matches without permission to draw in viewers and run gambling and lottery ads to earn a commission.

An ABEI representative urged users to act more responsibly online because cyberspace is not a free-for-all but heavily regulated by multiple legal documents. No users could create harmful content and get away with it.

He took the YouTube channel Thơ Nguyễn as an example. The channel was fined for its violations of cyber regulations two years ago and later became a 'near-dead' channel as a result of the penalty.

The same goes for the channel containing a staged suicide video uploaded in April last year. The video, made at a cost of VNĐ30 billion (US$1.3 million), was immediately deleted after a heavy fine from ABEI.

Deputy Minister Lâm called for a joint effort among Vietnamese users to build a harmful-content-free cyberspace. He couldn't tolerate malicious users lining their pockets with harmful content any longer.

ABEI Director Lê Quang Tự Do believed that the joint effort wouldn't work if Key Opinion Leaders, Multi-Channel Networks, and media heavyweights remain on the sidelines. It absolutely hinges on their involvement.

In the 2022 App Store Transparency Report, Apple said it removed 186,195 applications last year, of which Việt Nam accounted for 8,462. Most of them (4,657) were removed on grounds of design standard violations.

Fraud caused the removal of 3,626 applications, the second highest of any country. The astounding figure indicates that many Vietnamese creators are making money on the wrong side of the law.  

As cyber authorities are increasing their scrutiny of TikTok's operation, insiders wonder what's next for Facebook and YouTube. Social media users are waiting in anxiety for a final verdict. — VNS