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Google blocks 1,500 ‘toxic’ YouTube videos at Vietnam’s request

Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 21:22 GMT+7

Google has blocked 1,500 YouTube videos Vietnam deems ‘toxic and harmful’ on the world’s largest video-sharing platform, the country’s electric information watchdog said Tuesday.

The ‘cleanup’ came more than a month after the Authority of Broadcasting and Electric Information under Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications demanded that more than 2,200 videos whose content is either fake or anti-government be removed from on Google-owned YouTube.

Vietnam’s information ministry believed that there are as many as 8,000 such videos on YouTube.

The removal of the harmful YouTube videos is result of several working sessions between Vietnam and Google representatives, after which the Internet giant has created a special mechanism allowing Vietnamese agencies to report numerous links with bad content at a time.

YouTube has also provided additional tools to ensure that their commercials will not be placed alongside ‘toxic’ content on its platform.

On top of working with Google to sweep ‘toxic’ videos off YouTube, Vietnam’s information ministry has also reached agreement with Facebook to ‘purify’ content on the world’s largest social network among local users.

There are now 129 fake Vietnamese Facebook accounts responsible for publishing 4,120 posts that either disseminate anti-state information, incite hate and violence, or defame brands, individuals, and/or organizations.

Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook, met with local information watchdog in Hanoi late April, making commitment that the social network will prioritize the removal of fake accounts, especially those impersonating Vietnamese Party and government leaders.

The social network will also set up an exclusive channel to maintain contact with the information ministry and other Vietnamese regulatory agencies so that violations reported by the Southeast Asian country can be resolved in a fast-track protocol.

Around 70 percent of Vietnam’s 92 million citizens have Internet access, with some 45 million being Facebook users, according to the information ministry.

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