Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan at the National Assembly question-and-answer session on November 17 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan emphasised the importance of the mainstream media in orienting the currents of right information on social networks during a Q&A session at the 14th National Assembly’s ongoing fourth session on November 17.

It is necessary to use positive information on the media to beat negative information posted on social networks, Tuan said when answering a query on the ministry’s breakthrough measures to manage information on social networks.

Tuan shared that his ministry has worked with various offices involved to disseminate positive information and minimise negative and erroneous news on social networks, and clarify the great role as well as limitations of social networks.

According to the minister, currently, Vietnam has more than 300 domestic social networks. However, most of Internet users much prefer to foreign ones, especially Facebook and Google.

The ministry worked with representatives from the foreign networks asking to obey Vietnam’s law when operating in Vietnam’s territory.

As a result, nearly 5,000 clips on YouTube which harm interests of the Vietnamese Party, State and people as well as personal rights have been removed, Tuan said.

On a question on how to classify harmful news, Tuan referred to any information which threatens national security, incites war, targets overthrowing the State or changing the institution, offends other people, or threatens others’ health, life and dignity.

Responding to deputies’ concern over violations in performance of several newspapers and reporters, Minister Tuan cited the Press Law 2016 as saying that publishing distorted news and those worrying people is banned.

As an agency undertaking State management over press activities, the ministry has regularly coordinated with the Party Central Committee’s Information and Education Commission in controlling the implementation of press-related legal regulations, particularly those related to information contents and press activities.

Last year, the ministry issued administrative sanctions to nearly 150 press agencies – the biggest-ever number.

He stated any information that intentionally or unintentionally harms interests of the State and people must be punished strictly, while admitting cases of reporters found to have violated law and intimidated businesses.

The ministry resolutely dealt with these cases, he said, adding that five teams have been set up to inspect this kind of violation in the central, Central Highlands and Southwestern regions.

He asked news agencies to send capable, virtuous reporters to work in their local representative offices.

He affirmed that press agencies have always covered all activities of the Party, State and people, and pioneered in bringing into life all guidelines of the Party and law and policies of the State.-VNA