In a bid to maintain a safe and responsible online environment, Vietnam has recently issued an order requiring cross-border social media platforms to implement artificial intelligence (AI) models capable of automatically detecting and removing “toxic” content. This development marks a significant step in Vietnam’s ongoing efforts to combat offensive, false, and anti-state content proliferating on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok.

Vietnam’s announcement is the first of its kind, solidifying the country’s stringent stance on social media regulation. By leveraging AI technology, these platforms can now proactively identify and eliminate harmful content, ensuring a more positive user experience for millions of individuals within Vietnam. While specific details regarding the implementation and enforcement of this requirement remain undisclosed, it underscores the growing importance of AI in content moderation.

Vietnam has repeatedly called upon social media giants such as Meta’s Facebook, Google’s YouTube, and TikTok to collaborate closely with authorities in order to eradicate content deemed “toxic.” The Vietnamese government has expressed its concerns regarding the spread of offensive, false, and anti-state information, emphasizing the need for cooperation between these platforms and regulatory bodies to tackle this issue effectively.

During the first half of this year, Facebook reportedly removed 2,549 posts, while YouTube took down 6,101 videos in response to government requests. Additionally, TikTok eliminated 415 links that violated content guidelines, as per the information ministry’s statement. These actions highlight the platforms’ commitment to align with Vietnam’s content standards and regulations.

Vietnam’s move towards mandating AI-powered content moderation aligns with broader regional efforts in Southeast Asia. Countries in the region are currently working on developing comprehensive governance and ethics guidelines for AI technology. These guidelines aim to establish “guardrails” that ensure responsible and ethical deployment of AI, particularly in the context of content moderation. This development reflects the growing recognition of the need to regulate and harness AI’s potential across various sectors.

Vietnam has been proactive in enacting regulations to address challenges associated with disinformation and online content. In recent years, the country has introduced a cybersecurity law and other regulations specifically targeting foreign social media platforms. These measures aim to combat the spread of false information and require foreign tech companies to establish local representative offices and store data within Vietnam’s borders.

Moreover, Vietnam recently conducted a comprehensive inspection of TikTok’s local operations, uncovering several violations. The information ministry stated that preliminary results indicated various breaches of content guidelines on the popular short video platform. This inspection further demonstrates Vietnam’s commitment to safeguarding its online ecosystem and ensuring compliance with established regulations.

At a mid-year review event organized by Vietnam’s information ministry, it was announced that Netflix, the U.S. streaming giant, had submitted the necessary documents to establish a local office in Vietnam. This move indicates Netflix’s willingness to comply with Vietnamese regulations and underscores the importance of a local presence for foreign media platforms operating within the country.

First reported on Economic Times

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is an editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind, Editor in Chief for Calendar, editor at Entrepreneur media, and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.