back to article Vietnam bans posting fake news online

Vietnam will fine people posting fake news on social media in an effort to crack down on the spread of both general misinformation and falsehoods about the novel coronavirus. The new law, which will come into effect on April 15, will fine people who post or share fake news online VND10 to VND20m ($425-$850), which is several …

  1. pomegranate

    Request for information

    If the Government of Vietnam could please maintain a list of fake news items, it would be of use to social media platforms here, as well.

  2. Scott 1

    "Fake News" That's what the Chinese doctor who tried to warn us about Covid-19 was arrested for, right?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Yes, and he has since died. The Chinese government has also expressed its displeasure on how that was handled, is now treating that man as a hero of the nation, and has forced the police to offer their apologies to the grieving family, leading to disciplinary action against one or more police officers involved.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yet there are still three Chinese journalists who remain "off the radar", shall we say.


        Integrity? Chinese government has heard of it

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          I am not defending the Chinese government. There are a lot of things to correct over there, and Amnesty International has a long list. I am not disputing that.

          But, in this case, it has redressed the situation correctly and swiftly, and that should not be forgotten either.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            . . . Yes. It's re-dressed the situation correctly and swiftly.

            It's changed the dressing of the line from "the plebs are ready to revolt because we screwed up" to "it was the fault of the security staff doing exactly what we told them to do".

            1. martinusher Silver badge

              In a nation of 1.3 billion people there will be a significant number of jobswrths and CYA types. In this case the damage was minimal. In my country -- the US -- our leadership spent the best part of two months downplaying the potential for this disease to become a pandemic with large chunks of the media dumping on anyone who cared to disagree. Even today when its quite obvious that there's a problem large chunks of the country either won't admit it or are just assuming its God's just revenge for the wickedness of coastal states. (The UK's leadership isn't doing that well either.....)

              BTW -- China is bigger than Europe.

          2. Steve Knox

            I'm not sure I'd agree.

            I have serious reservations regarding your standards for "correctly" and "swiftly."

    2. Triggerfish

      While Vietnam definitely has some issues about freedom of the press and so on,

      At the moment they do seem to be not suppressing Coronavirus news from legit sources or hiding whats going on. They have actually been quite open with case numbers, every case out in the wild there is a list of where they have been and so on in the papers, text messages and the usual social media apps like zalo with reports to contact the government., it seems they are relying on this information helping them to quarantine and track down potentially infected as they're quite aggressive in quarantining an area if they think there is risk.

      Also sent to corrections, Vietnam started its lockdown on 1st April at midnight.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coming to a 'UK Government' 'Fact Checking' site ...

    ... near you soon.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Coming to a 'UK Government' 'Fact Checking' site ...

      30,000 Ventilators...

  4. Andy Non Silver badge

    Social media rumour mongers

    can cause a lot of damage. I read the other day that 300 Iranians have died as a result of drinking methanol... because of a rumour on social media that it could prevent / cure coronavirus.

  5. Julz Silver badge


    Don't we just bad all new to be safe. Precautionary principle and all.

    1. MrMerrymaker Silver badge

      Re: Why

      I'm not sure we should be taking advice on safety, news or anything else, from somebody with such terrible grammar and spelling.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Why

        Sounds like you've got a blocked nose. #stayindoors

  6. PhilipN Silver badge

    causing confusion ...

    .... inciting violence etc etc

    Good that seems to cover 90 per cent of social interaction.

    The other 10 was already illegal.

  7. Allan George Dyer

    Can we have a list of "depraved cultural products"?

    Asking for a friend...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    satire is dead

    Where does fake news end, and satire begin? I saw a hilarious post other day about Putin releasing lions out onto the streets to deal with quarantine vreakees. It's funny cos it's true!

  9. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Late to the party?

    "When Henry Kissinger wins the Nobel Peace Prize, there is nowhere for political satire to go"

    (or various other versions)

    -Tom Lehrer

    1. FBee

      Re: Late to the party?

      "Everyone says that the 1973 award is the “most unpopular” Nobel award ever, and that is probably true. But the nature of the unpopularity is worth pondering. The critics mainly objected to the half of the prize going to Kissinger, not the half going to Le Duc Tho. They thought it outrageous that the American secretary of state had won the Nobel prize, not so much that the representative of a totalitarian and mass-murdering dictatorship had done so. It is legend that Tom Lehrer, the American musician-satirist, gave up his career after Kissinger won the peace prize. That is not true: He had bowed out before. But he did say that “political satire became obsolete” when Kissinger won."

      -Jay Nordlinger

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems like “fake news” is becoming the new “terrorism” - a catch-all bandwagon for intolerant governments to oppress or censure opposition groups and opinions.

    What opposition groups can do to counter this is spread fake “true” news, which on the surface is in full support of their government’s position, but exposes such obviously faulty reasoning that most people reading it will realise their government are wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      faulty reasoning...

      ... in my experience most people don't recognize faulty reasoning if it bites them on the arse.

      I think if you are very clear about what false news actually is, it tends to avoid the creation of a slippery slope. For instance, in the UK it is specifically illegal to claim something is a cure for cancer (Cancer Act, 1939) and very few people, mostly utter fruitcakes who forgot what Bob Marley died of, think this is being used to surpress real information.

      I think there's a big difference in using emergency powers you have because of the pandemic to create pandemic-specific powers and some of the more frightening stuff people like Orban are doing, which seems to be a thinly disguised power grab.

  11. Confuciousmobil

    Fake news

    Maybe this is fake news?

  12. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Does this include dating sites?

    asking for a friend...

  13. Celeste Reinard


    I recall posting a photo of netted oranges online, since they resembled a tasty and wholesome human rear end - which I thought to be very funny, and suggestive of something completely different than an actual orange. And totally real, and not related to any orange to be found on Pennsylvania avenue 1600 that is totally fake news - though I don't want to be totallitarian about that, or vague, argumentative, or quarrelsome, or confused, since I am a devoted marxist - so I am safe, there.

    ... Okay, I admit that I am not a real marxist, I just say that to annoy people - I prefer total anarchy - as anyone will avow that has seen my place.

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