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Vietnam’s Code of Conduct for internet-based media

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has compiled a Code of Conduct (COC) for social networks, which will apply to state agencies, officials, civil servants, employees in state agencies, other organisations, and individuals that use social networks and social network service providers in Vietnam.

According to a press release, commenting on MIC’s proposal, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam told MIC to issue the COC in a suitable form as per the provisions of law and the ministry’s functions and duties.

At the latest National Assembly’s Question and Answer session on 9 November, the Minister of MIC, Nguyen Manh Hung, noted that in April 2020, MIC submitted a proposal on considering and promulgating the COC on cyberspace to the Prime Minister. The government approved the content and told MIC to consider issuing additional authority.

Minister Hung stated that the COC will be issued this year. He said that the matter of protecting children in the internet environment is integrated into the COC.

Specifically, the COC proposes that users and network service providers must comply with Vietnamese law and respect legitimate rights and interests of organisations and individuals, including children’s rights. Social network users and network service providers are requested to guide and educate children and adolescents on the safe use of social networks.

Minister Hung said that the Prime Minister had assigned MIC to preside over the compilation of a project to protect and support children’s safe interaction and creativity in the online environment in the period 2020-2025.

This project provides basic solutions to solve problems by establishing an agency in charge of receiving feedback on child abuse content, applying artificial intelligence technology and analysing big data for the early detection and proactive selection and removal of child abuse content on the Internet.

This project also aims to equip children with basic digital skills, including education on awareness about the network environment and skills so that children can protect themselves and identify the risks in the cyber environment and take appropriate actions.

Vietnam’s Internet economy has advanced by 39% annually since 2015 and is currently the second fastest-growing in Asia, with 68 million Internet users in the country this year. The figure is expected to reach 75.7 million by 2023.

As OpenGov Asia reported earlier, the government’s drive toward 100% smartphone penetration through the support of low-cost smartphone production and one of the cheapest data packages in the region will support this growth.

Although urban areas continue to dominate the online landscape in terms of spending, rural Vietnam is a prime market for growth, poised to grow twice as quickly as the metro cities. This is where over half of the country’s population resides – an untapped market with rising Internet penetration.

Specifically, 77% of residents in rural areas now have Internet access, with 91% of them browsing the Internet daily. The Internet has become a bridge to resources, products, and services that these users are accessing for the first time. Rural users are rapidly turning to the Internet for communication, education, self-development, and entertainment.

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