Deputy head of the National Institute of Information and Communications Strategy Do Quy Vu (standing) speaks at the conference in HCM City on December 14 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) organised a conference to discuss the code of conduct for social networks in Ho Chi Minh City on December 14.

With around 55 million accounts, Vietnam is the seventh largest Facebook-using nation worldwide. Vietnamese people spend seven hours on the internet per day on average, with 2.5 hours spent on social networking.

With 436 social networks allowed to operate in the country, the MIC has completed a draft for an associated code of conduct, which is based on international standards and regulations, treating Vietnamese and foreign service suppliers and users alike.

Speaking at the conference, deputy head of the National Institute of Information and Communications Strategy Do Quy Vu said that apart from legal and technical measures, Vietnam needs to design and conduct soft solutions to raising public awareness on internet users’ rights and responsibilities towards cyberspace behaviour.

Vu Hoang Lien, Chairman of the Vietnam Internet Association, considered the code of conduct community-based rules.

Users should actively follow ethical behaviour and spread the spirit among their community, while service suppliers should come up with measures to facilitate such behaviour, he added.

According to a survey from the Vietnam Program for Internet and Society, hate content on social networks in Vietnam mostly attack and defame a person or group concerning their ethnic origin, gender identity, disability, or religion, among others. The survey said the main cause behind this is users’ conception of social networks as a virtual environment where individuals hold no responsibility for their statements.

A representative from Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam, a firm that recently suffered from a false rumour spread about its product quality, said that users should behave with responsibility and avoid sharing false information on social networks. Website operators, meanwhile, must hold responsibility for the misinformation they spread and should have representatives in Vietnam to handle related petitions.

Nguyen Thi Hau, former deputy head of the HCM City Institute for Development Studies, recommended that to promote advantages and reduce the downsides of the internet, particularly amongst social networks, synchronous actions should be taken to raise public awareness, building and implementing related regulations, and increasing administrators’ understanding and engagement in global technology trends.–VNA