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Vietnam among top countries with illegal Internet exploitation: official

Vietnam is among the top countries worldwide in which the Internet is exploited for illegal purposes, a top information official said Saturday.

Vietnam among top countries with illegal Internet exploitation: official

At a conference on multichannel networks in Ho Chi Minh City, Nguyen Thanh Lam, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, said that “for every 100 coins made from illegal acts on YouTube, 55 belong to Vietnamese users.”

He said violations include copyright infringement and even selling pornographic content. It has showcased the fact that several content creators still depend on illegal acts to make profit, and part of the responsibility lies in platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook for not managing the content and users. Advertisers are also responsible for spending money on “dirty” content.

“The state does not make it difficult for businesses to advertise online, but there’s no way businesses can feel fine knowing their money is spent on toxic content,” Lam said.

Certain business representatives said it is difficult to determine which channels are allowed to run advertisements, and which are not. Therefore, a “white list” of verified channels allowed to advertise is in utmost demand, they said.

The ministry said that a black list of banned channels is also on the agenda.

“In the coming time, there will be several measures to prevent toxic content creators from making money or gaining access to the public,” said Le Quang Tu Do, head of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information.

To minimize the amount of toxic content online, authorities would cooperate with platforms to remove channels with violations, he added.

On dealing with violations on cross-border platforms, or whether TikTok would be banned in Vietnam following the inspection of the information ministry, Do said it would depend on the platform’s “attitude and cooperativeness.”

“If TikTok does not cooperate, it would certainly be banned. In recent times, several transnational platforms have introduced their own community standards and applied them globally, while considering them to be higher than local laws. This is wrong, and many platforms have paid dearly for it,” Do said.

Nguyen Lam Thanh, TikTok representative in Vietnam, said abiding by the law is a foremost priority for the platform.

Vietnam has launched an inspection on TikTok’s activities in the country, focusing on issues such as content distribution, taxation, e-commerce and advertisements. Last month, the information ministry said videos with toxic content were rampant on TikTok, yet the platform does not actively prevent them. The inspection is expected to end sometime in June.

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