At the workshop (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) -
Social media spreads information and disinformation rapidly, exerting a big influence on the public and businesses, and so the Government needs to have policies in place to manage and regulate it, a senior academic has said.

Nguyen Van Ven, director of one of the Ho Chi Minh City Open University’s two campuses, said at a forum on communication and brand names in the digital age in HCM City on July 23 that it should also have a comprehensive legal framework for digital communication.

It should also set up a system to identify communication crimes to detect disinformation and fake news, he said.

According to Nguyen Hai Trieu, co-founder and CEO of YouNet Media, there are 64 million active social media users in the country, up from 55 million last year.

Some 11 million posts are uploaded every day and receive 60 million comments. There are an equal number of Facebook users in rural areas as in urban areas.

Social media is having a big influence on society with its rapid dissemination of information, while the number of communication crises on social media increased 25 fold in 2017 from just two years earlier, according to Trieu. 

Business executives attending the forum said their products and brand names were often faked and published on social media, affecting their companies’ reputation.

Luu Dinh Phuc, Director of the Authority of Press, said when enterprises face such a situation they should complain to the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information.

Le Xuan Son, Editor-in-chief of Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper, the event organiser, said it was very important that enterprises pay attention to the quality of their products instead of merely building their image on social media since the latter could collapse rapidly.

Ho Quang Loi, Standing Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Journalists Association, said for enterprises to prevent disinformation, the information they provide needed to be explicit.

"Using traditional media is the way to resolve communication crises on social media," he said.

Trieu said "people still trust traditional media and double check information on it".

Loi said in an intensely competitive environment, where they compete by using information, enterprises and the media should complement each other.

Lam Minh Chanh, co-founder of Management and Startup Community, said many enterprises used social media to build their brand name.

However, "building brand names is not merely done through advertising or communication," he said.

"In a digital environment, consumers’ adverse assessments spread rapidly and widely, and businesses need to be able to deal with this."

Vietnam has more than 60 percent of its 96 million population using the internet. Each person uses the internet for more than seven hours a day, higher than the regional and world averages.-VNS/VNA