Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) has asked various companies to stop advertising on YouTube, accusing the Google-owned website of proliferating “anti-state propaganda” contents on some of its videos.
According to reports, the information ministry has called out on several foreign companies such as Samsung Electronics, Huawei Technologies, Yamaha Motors, and even the ride-sharing app, Grab, for having been found buying ad placements on YouTube videos believed to contain “illegal and malicious content.”
So far, the agency has identified close to 60,000 YouTube videos that it said violated Vietnamese law. MIC has already requested the removal of 8,000 of these flagged videos.
The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) meanwhile, has Google to blame for this entire fiasco. The company’s lax management of its content apparently allows users to “buy ads directly from YouTube and Google without the involvement of domestic ad agents.”
The Law of the Land
Industry experts contend that despite the country’s openness to social changes, particularly in relation to the use of social media, Google and YouTube still has to consider how these contents comply with local standards.
In a statement released to the press, the agency said that part of its strategy in tackling these violations is to work closely with the State Bank of Vietnam. Policies will be made in order to monitor and manage the cash flow and other payment activities done in relation to these ads placed on questionable video content.
The government will also have to ask Google and YouTube to disclose identities of Vietnamese channels. Only those that are certified by the MIC will be allowed for ad revenue sharing.
Moreover, the central bank, together with other relevant agencies, will also be authorized to monitor ad revenue flows going through specifically between the social media giant and homegrown YouTube channels.
Stricter Cybersecurity Laws
In January, the communist government proposed a controversial law that would require companies like Google to set up satellite offices in Vietnam.
The policy also recommended that these firms would have to store data inside the country.
As expected, the proposal has drawn flak from major tech firms and rights groups, who called for the government to reconsider this legislative move.
Company officials have also expressed their concerns over such initiative which they believe could give authorities unbridled access to sensitive customer data.