The Bureau of Broadcasting and Electronic Information under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) recently accused many big brands in Vietnam of running their ads on “offensive, violent, and subversive” videos.
The bureau said it has just detected 17 videos containing illegal content, like distorting history, or provoking ethnic hatred.
During the videos, advertisements of some popular brands in Vietnam (including Vaseline, Comfort (Unilever), Pampers, Ariel (P&G), Vinhomes, Sendo (FPT), Yamaha, among others) are displayed.
“Both Youtube, advertising agencies, and involved enterprises have responsibilities in the case. The fact that these enterprises do not manage where their products are being advertised violates the Law on Advertising,” said deputy director Le Quang Tu Do of the Bureau of Broadcasting and Electronic Information.
The involved enterprises confessed that they were completely unaware that their advertisements are featured in illegal videos.
They all said they would “cooperate with authorities to investigate the case. If there are indeed such situations, we will rework with our advertising partners.”
Do also said that international corporations like Google (Youtube) or Facebook must both comply with Vietnamese laws, customs, and traditions and protect users’ rights.
“We would request authorities to use technical measures and punishments if there are any violations,” he said.
The MIC is deploying many measures to tackle the issue. For immediate measures, the ministry is summoning involved enterprises for explanation and asks them to pull their ads out of these videos.
It is also cooperating with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) to ask the advertising agencies to comply with regulations. It is also arranging meetings with Youtube and Google to request deleting the illegal videos.
The MCST, in response, has issued a notice saying that it would fine Youtube for not complying with regulations on advertisement applicable for cross-border news site.
For long-term measures, the MIC has recently issued Circular No.38/2016/TT-BTTTT, which includes specific details requesting international corporations like Google and Facebook to cooperate closely with authorities to protect internet users from accessing malicious and illegal content.
The ministry is currently arranging meetings with these corporations.
Youtube is also under fire because recommendation function brings these malicious videos to users’ attention.
The Bureau of Broadcasting and Electronic Information is of the opinion that “Youtube allows videos with malicious content to continue existing and approaching Vietnamese users is seriously dangerous.”
In dealing with offensive videos, Google’s policy includes a reporting feature whereby users can flag videos containing inappropriate content to the Youtube team and request to delete the video.
Similarly, if automatically-displayed advertisements are considered inappropriate, users or enterprises can also submit reports to notify Youtube.