Facebook Censored Posts in Vietnam after the Country Slowed Traffic

Facebook agreed to censor posts critical of Vietnam’s government after the country slowed access to the site, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

State telecommunications companies took local Facebook servers offline for about seven weeks earlier this year, practically shutting access to the site.

“We believe the action was taken to place significant pressure on us to increase our compliance with legal takedown orders when it comes to content that our users in Vietnam see,” a source within Facebook told Reuters.

Facebook confirmed to the agency that it had agreed to “restrict access to content [in Vietnam] which it has deemed to be illegal.” While Vietnam has opened up its economy over the past several decades, its ruling Communist Party retains tight control over the media.

Facebook has faced pressure from other countries to censor critical content, and has not made inroads in China due to that country’s authoritarian nature. Social media companies in China are monitored closely and censored by the government, and Twitter is entirely banned from the country.

The social media giant has seen criticism from U.S. conservatives for alleged censorship of conservative content, such as pro-life messaging. However, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has also defended the company’s policy of allowing “misleading” political campaign ads in the U.S. in the name of free speech.

Filed under