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Vietnam's Communications Ministry Opens Anti-Fake News Center

Will the organization become the Vietnamese Snopes?

Tuoi Tre reports that yesterday, January 12, the Ministry of Information and Communications launched the Vietnam Anti-Fake News Center (VAFC), an agency aimed at combating disinformation posted online.

The VAFC's website, which is currently only available in Vietnamese, debunks false online information such as a fake account of the National Hydrometerology Center and a false story related to a Vietcombank branch in Kon Tum that spread on social media. The site also features a reminder that people who spread misinformation can be jailed for up to a year.

The news source adds that the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI), which falls under the information ministry, manages the VAFC.

"Fake news is created by humans, so only humans can realize and deal with such false information," Lưu Đình Phúc, the ABEI's director, told Tuoi Tre. "The center receives, detects, assesses, and labels fake news while exposing and correcting it..."

While it is not clear how many employees the VAFC has, workers there will identify information being shared widely online, check its validity, label it is incorrect if need be, and warn netizens not to share it further.

People can report suspected fake news by phone through a hotline operated by Viettel at 1800 8108, or by email at online.abei@mic.gov.vn.

[Top image: A screenshot of the VAFC's homepage]