Facebook Cut a Deal with the Vietnamese Government to Curtail Offensive Content

The list of countries pressuring Facebook to better address abusive/extremist/uncool content is getting longer by the day, and their resolve appears to be weakening. For a while now, the Vietnamese government have been complaining that content which violates national law has been slipping through the cracks, and it looks like Facebook have finally decided to do something about it.

In particular, the Vietnamese government have taken issue with content which they view to be, well, anti-governmental. On Wednesday, representatives from Facebook met with the government to figure out a deal, and since then Facebook have put plans in motion to set up a new channel to deal with Vietnam's authorities.

Facebook have also promised to remove any fake accounts claiming to be senior Vietnamese officials, or even just accounts posting content about them. This is where things become difficult, because as much as it makes sense for Facebook to reach compromises with national governments, the governments in question may themselves be attempting to suppress their people's right to freedom of speech.

Here's the rub - Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in all of Asia, and while they only account for a small fraction of Facebook's total ad revenue, that number is growing. It would be nice to think that morality and equal rights mean more to Facebook than profit, but it would also be nice to think that somewhere out there in the world there's a 700ft high mountain of sherbet. Sadly, there is no sherbet mountain, and Facebook suck.

While this is going on, the company are facing a far more severe, isolated issue just next door in Thailand. A few days ago, a man broadcast himself murdering his 11-year-old daughter on Facebook Live, and the feed stayed up for more than 24 hours, despite numerous reports. Facebook have come under far more widespread (and totally understandable) criticism for this, highlighting the fact that the company's priorities are more than a little bit skewed at the moment.

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