Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) is asking Facebook to verify identity of account owners, firstly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, local media reported.

It is one of the solutions to enhance electronic information management from now on, the MIC said in a report sent to the Vietnamese government.

The MIC said in the report that Facebook did not agree to remove some articles and contents as requested by the Vietnamese authorities on the ground that those contents did not infringe its community standards. Therefore, the ministry asked Facebook to verify the identity of users and only the accounts with verifiable identities will be allowed to live stream. 

Besides, Facebook will have to screen and remove advertisements that disseminate fake news related to politics whenever it is requested by the Vietnamese regulators.  The MIC requires Facebook to comply with Vietnamese laws. Photo: Internet
The MIC also asked Facebook to accelerate the authentication of fan pages of some organizations and individuals, as well as only allow creating official fan pages of governmental agencies and organizations under the approval of MIC or of those agencies and organizations.

Vietnam has taken tougher attitude on Facebook and Google since earlier this year, when its Cybersecurity Law took effect. The law bans internet users from conducting anti-state activities.

A report by the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information under the MIC in June said Google had removed almost 8,000 toxic videos from YouTube at the request of Vietnamese authorities. However, 55,000 videos of this kind still remain intact, it added.

The report also said that Facebook has scrapped 200 websites displaying anti-governmental contents, 208 fake accounts, and 2,444 links advertising illegal products and services.

Facebook begins hiding ‘Like’ counter in Vietnam

Facebook is set to pilot hiding Like counter in Vietnam on October 10, making the number of reactions, views and likes visible only to the post's author.

Specifically, for posts with over 10,000 likes, Facebook will only display 10,000. The social media platform has piloted removing Like counts on fan pages of famous singers such as Chi Pu, Son Tung, among others.

For some accounts, Facebook only displays comments and shares and does not show the number of likes. For some others, the number of likes is hidden when using mobile application, but it is still fully displayed on PCs.

Facebook said that it would gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people's experiences.

The reason behind removing likes from view was aimed at reducing social pressure among the users.

Facebook said earlier that it wanted its platform to be a place where people could comfortably express themselves and focus on sharing photos or videos rather concentrating on the number of 'likes'.

Such a change could ease pressure to win approval with images, videos or comments and, instead, get people to simply focus on what is in posts.

Facebook-owned Instagram earlier this year announced it was testing hiding like counts and video view tallies in more than a half-dozen countries, with account holders still able to see the numbers but masking amounts of others. Hanoitimes

Anh Kiet

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Facebook asked to identify user accounts in Vietnam

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The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has requested Facebook to identify user accounts in Vietnam, initially in the two major cities of HCMC and Hanoi, as part of a move to tighten control over digital information.