Vietnam Pro-government Abuse Reports Lock Activists out of Facebook

by Vu Quoc Ngu

Many Vietnamese activists and political dissidents have claimed that their Facebook accounts have been shut down by Facebook’s administrators based on fake reports from government-supported cyber trolls.

In recent days, dozens of online activists in Vietnam and other countries could not log on to their accounts due to “report abuse,” which may have been conducted by paid supporters of the Vietnamese government.

Communist-ruled Vietnam, labeled by international human rights bodies as one of the biggest “enemy of the Internet,” has strived to silence activists who protested against human rights violations, systemic corruption, economic mismanagement and weak response to the Chinese violations of the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea, said local activists.

Pro-government commentators have created thousands of fake reports on Facebook pages of social activists and human rights advocates, labeling them as disseminating “hate speech” or “inappropriate content,” said Vietnamese Facebook users.

Earlier this year, Vietnam’s state-run media admitted that the government is paying for 80,000 people to work online to “shape social opinions.” The capital city of Hanoi has 900 pro-government online activists to deal with political dissent, said Ho Quang Loi, chief of the city’s propaganda apparatuses.

Facebook should have necessary technologies to prevent the abuses to make this a safe place for people to share ideas and hopes for freedom, the activists said in their petition sent to the U.S.-based social network.

Facebook is the most popular social forum in communist-ruled Vietnam, with more than 20 million accounts.

Vu Quoc Ngu

Vietnamese dissidents’ petion to stop shutting down dissidents facebook pages based on fake reports from cyber trolls

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