Vietnam’s communications ministry accused TikTok Inc. of failing to effectively block content that violates the law after the authority conducted inspections of the platform’s operations in the country.
(Bloomberg) — Vietnam’s communications ministry accused TikTok Inc. of failing to effectively block content that violates the law after the authority conducted inspections of the platform’s operations in the country.
TikTok also stored illegal information, including content that could incite violence and posed risks to children, according to a post on the website of Vietnam’s Authority of Broadcasting, Television and Electronic Information, which cited its director Le Quang Tu Do.
“We respect local laws and regulations and will continue to work in collaboration with MIC, ABEI and the relevant ministries to address the feedback raised today,” Nguyen Lam Thanh, TikTok’s Vietnam representative, said in a statement, referring to the ministry and broadcast authority. “The safety of our users is our top priority. We have, and will continue to, pro-actively implement public education initiatives to raise awareness of online safety.”
The agency is asking the communications ministry to order the removal of accounts of children age 13 and under from TikTok, and restrict time spent on the platform for those under 18, according to the statement. It calls for blocking content considered illegal and banning political advertisements, particularly those with “anti-state” content. The agency is also asking the public security ministry to order TikTok to store local users’ data in the country.
TikTok hasn’t put in place measures to protect children from being exposed to inappropriate information or ensure their privacy, according to the statement. The platform also violated some regulations tied to intellectual property rights, it said.
In April, Do cited poor management and oversight that had led to the spread of fake news and anti-government content on TikTok, threatening and corrupting the country’s culture and morals.
Unlike China, people in Vietnam have access to the world’s most popular social platforms. The nation’s internet, though, is tightly monitored by the communist government, which is stepping up efforts to rid websites of content it objects to. Officials are proposing a decree that would require telecoms and internet service providers to halt services to organizations and individuals who post illegal content online.
TikTok in the third quarter last year was ranked the third most used social media platform in Vietnam, with 77.5% of the country’s internet users age 16 to 64 using it, according to a report compiled by Kepios Pte. and We Are Social Ltd.
(Updates the story with proposal to remove accounts of children in the fourth paragraph.)
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