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Vietnam to Build a Code of Conduct for Internet Users

The prevalence of online hate speech is a growing concern for authorities.

Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communication is mulling over creating a code of conduct for internet users, Tuoi Tre reports. The announcement was brought up on May 18 during a conference named "Building a Social Media's Code of Conduct for a Healthy Internet Environment in Vietnam."

According to Do Quy Vu, deputy director of the National Institute of Information and Communications Strategy, negative incidents on social media have been resolved according to the law. Yet, regulations are not strict enough and much damage has been done before authorities can interfere. Thus, to protect internet users' rights, there exists a need for a code of conduct.

"The etiquette code aims to regulate behaviors of internet service providers and internet users (both individuals and organizations)," Vu said, adding that the code will be founded on basic principles such as respecting the law, transparency, benevolence, and securing data privacy. According to Minister of Information and Communication Truong Minh Tuan, the code will serve as a "social contract," a general guideline for all users. Organizations can later add their own regulations to the code.  

The conference cited a recent study conducted by Vietnam's Program for Internet and Society, which surveyed more than 1,000 respondents and found that 78% of them said that they were a victim of online hate speech. According to a recent report by We Are Social in January this year, 67% of Vietnam's population are internet users and 57% of the country's population are active on social media. 

Tuan concludes the meeting by noting that opinions from internet users should be listened to before the code of conduct goes into effect.

[Photo via Washington Post]

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