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Vietnam to ban online ads being shown near “toxic” anti-government content

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Vietnam is creating a blacklist of websites, including individual accounts on Facebook and YouTube, that will not be allowed to receive ad revenue if the government determines they have posted “toxic” or anti-government content. Advocates fear the new rule will worsen the free speech situation in the country.

Companies will not be allowed to place ads on content that is “toxic, against the state, or infringing copyrights,” the information ministry said in a post on its website, as reported by Nikkei Asia. The government is also working on a whitelist of safe websites that will be released in early 2023.

Related: Vietnam jails three more citizens for their Facebook posts

There were already strict free speech constraints in Vietnam. It has a team tasked with scrubbing the internet of political dissent and has made efforts to make tech giants support its censorship. Tech companies are required to store data locally and submit it upon request. Those companies that will not comply with the laws will not be allowed to operate in Vietnam, the information ministry said.

“YouTube and Facebook allow social media users to post rampant illegal content and enable the monetization feature that allows ads to be installed on those channels, pages, and accounts,” the information ministry’s Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information said.

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