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Facebook, Google must remove content harmful to children: Vietnam seminar

Facebook, Google must remove content harmful to children: Vietnam seminar

Thursday, May 26, 2022, 12:48 GMT+7
Facebook, Google must remove content harmful to children: Vietnam seminar
Dang Hoa Nam, head of the Department of Children’s Affairs under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, speaks at the seminar in Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam, May 25, 2022. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

Businesses that do not have representative offices in Vietnam, such as Google and Facebook, are still required to remove photos and videos deemed harmful to children at the request of local authorities, according to a statement given at a seminar on Wednesday.

The seminar was organized in northern Hoa Binh Province on Wednesday, in conjunction with Action Month for Children, focusing on child protection on the Internet.

The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Information and Communications have issued several announcements in reaction to violations by web-based platforms related to the dissemination of toxic information, particularly on social networks such as Facebook and YouTube, said Nguyen Thi Nga, deputy head of the Department of Children’s Affairs under the social affairs ministry.

Despite having no representative offices in Vietnam, businesses such as Facebook and Google must still filter images and videos deemed harmful to children, as well as other content that violates Vietnamese law at the request of state management agencies, Nga stressed.

Only 10 percent of children in Vietnam have knowledge of online safety, Dang Quoc Viet, representative of Plan International Vietnam, quoted the findings of a survey conducted by his organization.

Nguyen Thi Nga, deputy head of the Department of Children’s Affairs under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, speaks at the seminar in Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam, May 25, 2022. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Thi Nga, deputy head of the Department of Children’s Affairs under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, speaks at the seminar in Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam, May 25, 2022. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

Plan International Vietnam has thus coordinated with Plan International Germany in mobilizing funds for a project dedicated to keeping children and young people safe in cyberspace, Viet shared.

The goal of the project is to equip children with knowledge and skills so that they can protect themselves and others from bullying and gender-based violence in the online environment.

It targets more than 9,000 children aged 10 to 18 and is set to run from August 2021 to July 2024, Viet elaborated.

Parents should pay close attention to their children’s mental health during the post-COVID-19 period, as serious mental conditions can potentially lead to suicidal behaviors, said Dang Hoa Nam, head of the Department of Children’s Affairs.

They should talk to their children if noticing any unusual behaviors, or contact 111 - the national hotline for child protection - for further advice, Nam continued.

As of February 2021, Vietnam had had 72 million social media accounts and over 68.7 million Internet users, accounting for 70.3 percent of the country’s population.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, children and teenagers have been using the Internet to study, communicate, and entertain themselves, leading to increased risks of online bullying and abuse.

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Duy Khang - Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre News

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