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Vietnam man fined for suggestive YouTube parody channel

Thursday, January 19, 2017, 14:46 GMT+7

A Vietnamese man who manages a YouTube parody channel has been punished by local broadcasting authorities for publishing sensual clips of human-played cartoon characters and misleadingly labeling them for children.

Vietnam’s Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) on Wednesday imposed a VND30 million (US$1,340) administrative fine on Ho Chi Minh City resident Tra Ngoc Hai, 27, for the ownership of his suggestive channel on the video-sharing site.

Hai’s channel, ‘Spiderman Frozen Marvel Superhero Real Life,’ was centered around parody clips of popular cartoon and superhero characters, such as Marvel’s Spiderman and Disney’s Elsa, playing out violent, sensual, and mildly erotic scenes.

In one clip, ‘Superman’ and ‘Snow White’ were stripped naked inside a bedroom while another clip showed ‘Elsa’ and her sister 'Anna' wearing swimsuits by the pool eating bananas in a ‘sensual’ manner as ‘Joker’ and ‘Maleficent’ looked on.

The clips, misleadingly labeled ‘kids,’ had garnered millions of views before being reported by the parents of those children who had been exposed to the vulgar content.


'Elsa' and 'Anna' are seen sensually eating bananas in this screenshot captured from a video on Hai's YouTube channel. Photo: Tuoi Tre News

Tu Hoang, a parent in Ho Chi Minh City, said his kindergarten children had been tricked into viewing the clips because the videos’ thumbnails were designed to be eye-catching to kids.

“At first they only watched cartoons suitable for their age, but soon were lured into clicking on the toxic content after YouTube automatically suggested similar videos,” Hoang said.

Hai was found “actively providing improper information that goes against Vietnam’s fine traditions and customs,” according to the ABEI fine notice.

The videos on Hai’s channel had been taken down as of Thursday, though other channels have re-uploaded the videos.

The country has taken measures to tighten its grip on ‘toxic’ Internet content, including the distribution of a recent circular by the Ministry of Information and Communications that enabled Vietnamese authorities to demand the removal of toxic information from the Internet as well as ensuring their ability to block such content should providers fail to follow any request.

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