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Facebook helped bring free speech to Vietnam. Now it’s helping stifle it.

When Facebook took off in Vietnam about a decade ago, it was like a “revolution,” said two of the company’s early employees in Asia. For the first time, people across the country could communicate directly about current affairs. Users posted about police abuse and government waste, poking holes in the propaganda of the ruling Communist Party. “It felt like a liberation,” said one of the Facebook employees, “and we were part of it.”

Vietnam state trolls attack on April 30th

Every year, around April 30th (the date of the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War), Viet Tan’s social media accounts are targeted by cyberattacks from Vietnamese state trolls. This year, the trolls launched their offensive as early as April 28th, and it lasted until May 5th.

How Vietnam’s state trolls are undermining free speech and democracy

Vietnam has deployed an army of online trolls and cyber troops who are spreading not just disinformation but also conducting vicious hate campaigns against human rights activists and suspected critics of the state.
The extent of the operations of these trolls is detailed in a new report released by the human rights watchdog Viet Tan.

European Parliament urged to look closer into Human Rights and the EVFTA in Vietnam

On 28 February 2023, MEP Marianne Vind (S&D, Denmark) hosted a conference to discuss the state of play two years into the entry of the EVFTA at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The EVFTA (EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement), signed on 30 June 2019, aims to strengthen human rights, freedom of assembly and labour rights in Vietnam, and give Vietnam frictionless trade access to Europe.

Collective Action for Paracel and Spratly Islands

Today, the international community agrees that the People’s Republic of China is carrying out increasingly aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in the South China Sea. These hostilities began 49 years ago with the Chinese invasion of the Paracel islands (Hoàng Sa) on January 19, 1974, under Vietnamese sovereignty.

#StopVNtrolls – Combatting Force 47 and Cyber Censorship

In a new report titled “#StopVNtrolls — Combatting Force 47 and Cyber Censorship”, Viet Tan exposes the harmful networks that have been responsible for coordinated social harm and supressing public discourse in Vietnam. The paper provides recommendations to Meta in order to cultivate a safe and authentic online environment.