HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Vietnam’s Communist regime has asked dozens of firms to pull their advertisements from Youtube videos that the government sees as anti-state propaganda, the Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Information and Communication’s Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information considered that Google, which owns the online video streaming platform, was found to “loosely manage” its content by allowing firms to directly advertise on these videos without the intermediation of Vietnamese authorities.
The government statement included a list of offenders that named several foreign firms, including China’s Huawei, South Korea’s Samsung, Japan’s Yamaha, and Singapore’s Grab.
The authorities said that Google continued to show videos “with inappropriate and harmful content” and had identified around 55,000 clips that violated Vietnam’s laws, 8,000 of which have already been deleted on the government’s request.
In this regard, the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information would “in the near future” ask Youtube to identify Vietnamese channels to ensure that only those compliant with the government norms are considered for advertising revenue sharing.
This requirement by the authorities falls within the scope of a new restrictive law on cybersecurity that came into effect in January, which compels internet service providers to store basic data of users for the government.
Before the law came into effect, Hanoi had complained about the porous nature of Youtube and Facebook, while demanding the elimination of hundreds of videos and content it considered harmful.
The cybersecurity law has sparked criticism among human rights organizations and dissidents – who often relied on social media to voice their messages critical of the government – as the freedom of the press remains severely curtailed in the Southeast Asian country.