Vietnam ramps up pressure on Google’s YouTube advertisers

The ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship in Vietnam and does not tolerate dissent. (AFP)
Updated 12 June 2019
0

Vietnam ramps up pressure on Google’s YouTube advertisers

  • The ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship in Vietnam and does not tolerate dissent
  • Vietnam’s information ministry has identified about 55,000 YouTube videos it deemed in violation of the law

HANOI: Vietnam has asked companies not to advertise on videos hosted by Google’s YouTube that contain “anti-state propaganda,” state media said on Wednesday, as the Southeast Asian country ramps up pressure on global tech giants.
Despite economic reforms and increasing openness to social change, the ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship in Vietnam and does not tolerate dissent.
“Google was found to loosely manage its content, allowing users to buy ads directly from YouTube and Google without the involvement of domestic ad agents,” the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) said, referring to a June 7 announcement by the Ministry of Information and Communication.
The ministry listed several foreign companies, including Samsung Electronics, Huawei Technologies, Yamaha Motors and ride-sharing app Grab, which were found to have advertised on videos containing “illegal and malicious content,” it added.
Vietnam’s information ministry has identified about 55,000 YouTube videos it deemed “harmful,” or in violation of Vietnamese law, the agency said. Of these, 8,000 were deleted at the request of Vietnamese authorities.
“In the near future, the authorities will ask YouTube to identify Vietnamese channels, and only certified ones will be considered for ad revenue sharing,” it added, without elaborating.
A controversial law on cybersecurity took effect in January that requires companies to set up offices in Vietnam and store data there.
Global technology firms and rights groups have pushed back against the law, and some company officials have privately expressed concern it could allow authorities to more easily seize customer data and expose Vietnamese employees to arrest.
In the months before introduction of the law, Facebook increased curbs on content by more than 500 percent in Vietnam, the social media giant said last month.
In January, days after the new law took effect, Vietnam said Facebook had violated it by letting users post anti-government comments.
Vietnam’s information ministry has asked businesses to “actively review” their advertising on social media, VNA said.
“The (information) ministry will work with the State Bank of Vietnam and relevant agencies to closely manage ad revenue flows on YouTube and Google,” it said.


Lebanon PM closes TV channel run by his family over funding

Updated 18 September 2019

Lebanon PM closes TV channel run by his family over funding

  • Employees at Future TV had been staging strikes for months over unpaid wages
  • Earlier this year, Hariri ceased the print edition of Al-Mustaqbal newspaper, also owned by his family, turning it into a digital newspaper

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s prime minister says he is temporarily closing a TV network owned by his family, following a years-long financial struggle.
In a statement Wednesday, Saad Hariri described the move as suspending work until the Future TV network could be re-launched after a financial restructuring.
Employees at the station had been staging strikes for months over unpaid wages. The station was launched in 1993 by Hariri’s father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated by a massive truck bomb in 2005.
Earlier this year, Hariri ceased the print edition of Al-Mustaqbal newspaper, also owned by his family, turning it into a digital newspaper.
Several Lebanese newspapers have stopped printing in recent years as they struggle to compete with digital media.