Vietnam’s government has called on businesses and advertising agencies to steer clear of advertising on YouTube videos that feature “toxic” anti-state content.
“YouTube advertisers should stop posting on channels that feature toxic anti-state content,” Information and Communications minister Nguyen Manh Hung said after a meeting on Tuesday with brands including Yamaha, Grab, VNG and Shopee. “Enterprises, whether inside or outside the country, must comply with the laws of the country.”
A cybersecurity law, which came into force in January this year, requires internet companies operating in Vietnam to store user data locally, remove content deemed offensive from their platforms, and provide user data to the government without requiring a warrant.
The country also has provisions to penalise user comments online that contain “propaganda against the state” and “reactionary ideology.”
On Tuesday, ministry officials said 100 domestic brands were found to have posted ads on 55,000 YouTube videos with toxic or illegal content. These brands have been sent a warning letter by the ministry, said Nguyen Thanh Lam, head of the Broadcasting and Digital Information Department at the ministry of information and communications.
Eager not to run afoul of the government, brands at the meeting on Tuesday said they are complying with the laws. “We are reviewing very carefully all the channels that we are operating to lower the risks in the future,” said Tran Tuan Anh from online retailer Shopee.
It is understood that Samsung Electronics, Huawei Technologies, Yamaha Motors and Grab were among brands found to have advertised on videos containing “illegal and malicious content”.