Facebook, Google Becoming ‘Human Rights-Free Zones’ in Vietnam: Amnesty

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Fb and Google are quick turning into “human rights-free zones” in Vietnam, Amnesty Worldwide warned Tuesday, accusing the tech titans of serving to censor peaceable dissent and political expression within the nation.

Communist Vietnam has lengthy jailed its critics however has come below hearth lately for concentrating on customers on Fb, a well-liked discussion board for activists within the nation the place all impartial media is banned.

The social community admitted earlier this yr that it was blocking content material deemed unlawful by authorities, whereas its newest transparency report revealed an almost 1,000 % enhance within the content material it censors on authorities orders in comparison with the earlier six months.

Amnesty mentioned in a Tuesday report that it had interviewed 11 activists whose content material had been restricted from view in Vietnam by Fb this yr.

The rights group additionally mentioned three others had related content material censored by Google-owned YouTube.

One in all them, Nguyen Van Trang, who fled an arrest warrant in Vietnam for his involvement in a pro-democracy group, mentioned Fb had since Could restricted every bit of content material he posted about Communist Get together boss Nguyen Phu Trong and senior occasion member Tran Quoc Vuong.

Trang additionally mentioned a few of his posts on controversial points equivalent to land disputes have been blocked from view in Vietnam by YouTube.

“I really feel indignant about it,” he instructed AFP. “For social activists, these platforms play an vital function in influencing individuals with regard to progressive values equivalent to democracy, human rights, civil society.”

“The compromise between Fb and Google shouldn’t be solely the act of blocking data, nevertheless it additionally hinders the progress of a nation, the place individuals shouldn’t have many alternatives to take part in political actions.”

‘Propaganda towards the Get together’
Greater than 53 million individuals use Fb in Vietnam, accounting for over half the inhabitants. The platform can also be an important advertising instrument for native enterprise.

Vietnam is now the most important nation by income for Fb and Google in Southeast Asia, in line with trade consultants.

However Amnesty warned that whereas they have been “as soon as the nice hope for the enlargement of freedom of expression within the nation, social media platforms are quick turning into human rights–free zones”.

Info Minister Nguyen Manh Hung mentioned final month that tech firms have been complying with requests to take away “dangerous data, propaganda towards the Get together and the State” at the next fee than ever, in line with state media.

The identical article reported that this yr Fb complied with 95 % of the federal government’s requests whereas YouTube complied with 90 %.

A Fb spokesperson instructed AFP it labored exhausting to defend freedom of speech all over the world.

“Over the previous few months, we have confronted further strain from the federal government of Vietnam to limit extra content material, nevertheless, we are going to do all the pieces we will to make sure that our providers stay obtainable so individuals can proceed to specific themselves,” it mentioned.

Google and Vietnamese authorities didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. 

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