Facebook and YouTube accused of complicity in Vietnam repression

The Guardian

Amnesty report accuses sites of openly signalling they will bow to authoritarian regimes

A person using Facebook at a cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam,

A person using Facebook at a cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam, last month. Photograph: Kham/ReutersRebecca Ratcliffe South-east Asia correspondentTue 1 Dec 2020 00.01 GMT

Facebook and YouTube are complicit in “censorship and repression on an industrial scale” in Vietnam, according to a report by Amnesty International that accuses the platforms of openly signalling that they are willing to bow to the wishes of authoritarian regimes.

Facebook’s executives have repeatedly promoted the platform as a bastion of “free expression”, but in Vietnam, where there is little tolerance for dissent, the company complied with hundreds of requests to censor content earlier this year. This includes peaceful criticism of the state by activists, which is protected under international human rights law.

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