Facebook policy head, Vietnamese minister discuss ways to curb ‘toxic content’

Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook, met Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan in Hanoi on Wednesday

Facebook is committed to cooperating with Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications to enact suitable measures to prevent ‘toxic content’ on the social network, its head of policy management said on Wednesday.

Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook, led a high-ranking delegation from the world’s largest social network to meet with Vietnamese Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan in Hanoi on Wednesday.

The meeting was dedicated to seek solutions to ‘purify’ Facebook content for Vietnamese users, at a time when anti-state and illegal information is flooding the social network of 1.8 billion users, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Facebook plays important role in Vietnam

Prior to the meeting, Minister Tuan said some 70 percent of Vietnam’s 92 million population are using Internet, with some 45 million being Facebook users.

Tuan underlined the role of Facebook in Vietnam’s social activities, making no secret that he himself has two accounts to stay connected with friends and exchange information.

“The government of Vietnam does not hinder the development of Facebook or any other social networks, so long as they follow the Vietnamese law and international practices,” the minister underlined.

However, Tuan said it is a pity that not everyone uses Facebook for good purposes.

Particularly, in Vietnam, many people are using the social network in a way that goes against the law, such as inciting war and violence, breaching the privacy of other individuals and organizations or defaming other people, through anonymous Facebook profiles.

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Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook (L) and Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan. Photo: VNA

Minister Tuan put the emphasis on Facebook accounts that impersonate Party and government leaders, and those that spread ‘toxic’, inaccurate and anti-state information on the social network.

The head of communication department then accessed some of those impostor Facebook profiles to Bickert, calling on her to suggest solutions to ‘purify’ the social network environment for Vietnamese users.

“This may be difficult but will eventually be resolved with a goodwill and enthusiastic cooperation from Facebook,” Tuan said.

No tolerance for toxic content

Replying to her host, Bickert said Facebook had been waiting for this meeting with Vietnamese regulatory bodies in regard of the ‘toxic content’ issue.

The Faceebook’s policy head expressed her pleasure toward Tuan’s assertion of the importance of the social network in Vietnam, adding that the California-based company also considers the Southeast Asian an important market.

Bickert said Facebook has a code of conduct for all of its users, underlining that impostor accounts or defamation and hate profiles have no place to exist on the social network.

Facebook is committed to immediately removing those content upon receiving a report or complaint, Bickert added.

She added that Facebook has provided users with a tool to report such information for the social network to have timely intervention.

The Facebook delegation also promised to cooperate with the Vietnamese information to enact the most suitable possible measures to curb ‘toxic content.’

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