VN needs healthy social media environment: official

June 18, 2019 | 09:36 am GMT+7

Creating a healthy and safe information environment, in which social media is an important source of news, will help maintain Vietnam’s political and social stability, a top official has said.


Võ Văn Thưởng, Politburo member, Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and head of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for Communication and Education, made the claim in an article sent to local publications yesterday.

The article looks at the negative and positive sides of social media.
Thưởng wrote “Việt Nam, like other countries in the world, has exploited and promoted the preeminent characteristics of social communication and at the same time has to face negative impacts that are difficult to control of this new type of media.”
According to the article, after more than 20 years of internet integration, with more than 60 million users, Việt Nam ranks 18th in the world in terms of the percentage of internet users and is one of the 10 countries with the highest number of Facebook and YouTube users.
On social networks, some influencers have voiced positive opinions and shared information that have widespread online impacts, creating a healthy information environment, he wrote.
However, others use fake accounts of individuals and organisations to take advantage of technology for subversive activities, the article claimed.
For example, social networks were used to incite illegal protests and riots after mass fish deaths were reported in central Hà Tĩnh Province in 2016, as well as protests against the draft law on special administrative-economic zones and the Law on Cyber Security, he wrote.
Thưởng noted that social media is challenging administrative and technical management measures of all countries, especially developing ones.
He also wrote that some social media users in Việt Nam like and share shocking and negative news without considering the consequences, thinking social media is only a virtual environment and they do not have to take responsibility for their actions.
“Negative impacts posed by social media might lead to both direct, immediate consequences and long-term ones that gradually erode cultural and moral values,” he wrote.
The “collapse” of values and psychological hurt will impact each individual’s life and the nation’s political and social stability, he wrote.
Thưởng proposed State management and raising public awareness on the negative impacts of social media and their legal rights and responsibilities when using it.
He underlined the need to enhance management of electronic press, social networks and other forms of communications, while fostering the leading role of the mainstream press in providing information.
He also proposed promoting the roles of individuals and organisations, especially websites, fan page administrators, bloggers, influencers and young people, in making social networks a healthy environment.