Facebook is going against its own principles in taking offline posts more often in Vietnam if they criticize the government. It does that after heavy pressure from the country.
Facebook has been trying to balance for years between enabling free speech and fighting fake news or calls for hatred.
But in general, it allows a lot of statements on its platform. But in Vietnam, the company is taking stricter action, two sources within Facebook say to Reuters.
The reason for this is massive pressure from the Vietnamese government. Since the middle of February, Facebook’s servers in the country have been put offline by the local state telecom companies.
Access was restored in early April only after the social network agreed to remove more posts from dissident citizens.
Taking the servers offline took Facebook, Messenger and Instagram very difficult or unavailable in the country. Formally, it was reported in state media that there was work on an undersea cable, causing problems.
One of the sources within Facebook does nuance to Reuters that not every request is granted. “It does not mean that we will respond to every request from the government. But we will limit significantly more content.”