Hanoi, Vietnam — Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have become hugely popular over the last few years in the heavily-censored Communist country. But a decree issued by the Vietnamese government says blogs should only be used “to provide and exchange personal information.”
The document, signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and made public late on Wednesday, stipulates that internet users should not use social networks to share or exchange information on current events.
Social media users will not be allowed “to quote general information … information from newspapers, press agencies or other state-owned websites”, Hoang Vinh Bao, head of the Department of Radio, TV and Electronic Information, said, according to a report on the state-run VNExpress news site.
It is not clear how the law will be implemented or the penalties faced, but internet commentators said it could in theory make it illegal to share links to stories or even discuss articles published online in Vietnam’s state-run press.
The decree, which comes into force in September, also bans foreign internet service providers from “providing information that is against Vietnam, undermining national security, social order and national unity … or information distorting, slandering and defaming the prestige of organisations, honour and dignity of individuals”.Continue reading