Children protection, an important part of code of conduct on social networks

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, the issue of child protection in the Internet environment has been added to the Code of Conduct (COC) on social networks.

Vietnam now has nearly 64 million Internet users, accounting for 66% of its population, among the highest rates of Internet penetration in the world. Of the figure, one third are at the age of 15 to 24. VNA/VNS Photo

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has compiled the COC, which will be applicable to state agencies, officials, civil servants, employees in state agencies, other organizations and individuals using social networks, and social network service providers in Vietnam.

At the latest National Assembly’s Q&A session on November 9, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said that in April 2020, MIC submitted to the Prime Minister a proposal on considering and promulgating the COC on cyberspace. The Government approved the content and told the MIC to consider issuing additional authority.

According to Minister Hung, this COC will be issued in 2020.

He said that the issue of protecting children in the internet environment is integrated into the COC.

Specifically, the COC proposes that users and network service providers must comply with Vietnamese law and respect legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals, including children's rights. Social network users and network service providers are requested to guide and educate children and adolescents on the safe use of social networks.

Internet access has been beneficial for kids, but at the same time, implies numerous risks.

More than half of the 14,000 girls and young women surveyed, from around the world, have been harassed and abused online.

A survey by Plan International also found that one in four girls abused online feels physically unsafe as a result and online abuse is silencing girls’ voices.

Girls are targeted online just because they are young and female, and if they are politically outspoken, disabled, Black or identify as LGBTIQ+, it gets worse. Like street harassment it is unremitting, often psychologically damaging and can lead to actual physical harm.

Facebook fake accounts used to post fake news. Source: Internet

Facebook recently has removed 290 fake accounts in Vietnam so far this year, making the country top in number of account cancellations.

The removals were made via coordination between Facebook and the authorities of Vietnam, Le Quang Tu Do, deputy head of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information under the MIC, told a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on November 27.

Aside from the fake accounts, Facebook also removed 2,200 links that promote trading of illegal products and services.

In the past year, Vietnam has led the world in terms of the number of fake accounts being removed and violating posts being deleted by Facebook, Do said.

Vietnam has so far licensed 800 social media platforms and the number of social media accounts has risen from 47 million in 2018 to 96 million this year, Minister Nguyen Manh Hung told legislators earlier this month.

Facebook and YouTube account for the biggest amount of users in the country.

In 2018, there were about 54.7 million internet users in Vietnam.

The figure rose to 59.2 million last year and is estimated at 63.6 million this year, among the highest rates of Internet penetration in the world. Of the figure, one third are at the age of 15 to 24.

By 2023, it was forecasted to be 75.7 million, according to German data portal Statista.

Statista also said Facebook had removed almost 1.5 billion fake accounts in the second quarter this year, down from 1.7 billion fake accounts in the preceding quarter, according to VNExpress.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on July 7 pledged to root out hateful posts, saying the social network has to get better at finding and removing hateful content.

"Facebook stands firmly against hate. Being a platform where everyone can make their voice heard is core to our mission, but that doesn't mean it's acceptable for people to spread hate. It's not," she said in a statement.







On June 2, the National Assembly approved the Law on Cyber Security which will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

The law requires all internet-related service providers, regardless of whether they are foreign or domestic companies, to open a representative office and maintain a customer database on servers based in Vietnam in exchange for authorisation to operate legally in the country.

Vietnamese people spend seven hours on the internet per day on average, with 2.5 hours spent on social networks.

Van Anh