“Ruthless suppression of freedom of expression is nothing new, but Facebook’s shift in policy makes them complicit,” said the rights watchdog’s William Nee.
More than 53 million people in Vietnam — over half the population — use Facebook. The platform is also a crucial marketing tool for local business.
Domestic social media networks have so far failed to win a share of that lucrative online market.
Since the beginning of the year, authorities have questioned hundreds of Facebook users over posts connected to the coronavirus pandemic and the government’s handling of the health crisis.
Several were slapped with fines and had their posts removed after admitting they had spread “fake news“.
The government introduced a new regulation this month that makes it easier for authorities to fine and jail online critics.
Around 10 percent of Vietnam’s current crop of political prisoners were jailed because of their activity on Facebook, Amnesty says.