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Vietnam tells Facebook to remove ‘toxic information’

Cybersecurity was among the topics discussed at a meeting between Vietnam’s PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and a Facebook executive Thursday.

Vietnam's PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) meets Facebook's representative Simon Milner in Hanoi Thursday.
Vietnam’s PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) meets Facebook’s representative Simon Milner in Hanoi Thursday.

Facebook’s vice president of public policy for the Asia-Pacific, Simon Milner, expressed his company’s readiness to support Vietnam in areas relevant to the digital era.

Facebook will discuss with Vietnam issues that many other countries also face, especially cybersecurity, and the two sides agreed to work on remedial measures for possible issues, according to the meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi.

Milner said cybersecurity is an important factor in ensuring businesses’ operations and also contributes to improving the investment and business environment.

Phuc told him Facebook needs to be responsible for ensuring security and protecting personal information related to over 60 million accounts in Vietnam.

The prime minister also voiced support for Facebook’s plan to contribute to building a digital ecosystem in Vietnam, saying it is Vietnam’s “close friend” with a very high rate of users in the country.

So Facebook needs to have regular exchanges with Vietnamese agencies and work together with them to overcome shortcomings to better contribute to Vietnam’s development, which in turn would create more opportunities for Facebook to continue growing, he said.

Phuc wanted the company to work closely especially with the Ministry of Information and Communications to remove “toxic” information that could damage national security, social order, safety, and the peaceful lives of people.

He said Vietnam always creates favorable conditions for foreign companies, including Facebook, to do business smoothly.

Speaking at the meeting, acting information minister Nguyen Manh Hung emphasized that Facebook, and all other companies doing business in the country must comply with Vietnamese laws to ensure a secure, healthy cyberspace.

He also called on Facebook as a successful business in Vietnam to reinvest a percentage of its revenue here in research and development and soon open a representative office in the country.