Illustrative image (Source: VNA)


Hanoi (VNA)
– Many major brands in Vietnam are running advertisements on YouTube channels that feature profane, violent, harmful and anti-State contents.

Statistics released by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) show that in December 2018, YouTube was one of the most popular websites with about 22 million users.

YouTube is seen by many as not only a social media website but also a tool to search for information about movies, music and news.

However, its convenience is coupled with a range of violations.

Spread of harmful content

According to Google’s official report to the MIC, as of May 2019, YouTube had five multi-channel networks (MCN) – third-party service providers affiliated with multiple YouTube channels to offer services in Vietnam. They are Yeah1, POPS, METUB, Dien Quan and BHMedia which manage about 6,000 YouTube channels in Vietnamese.

However, the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) found YouTube is directly running 130,000 Vietnamese channels, and the above-mentioned violations mainly come from these channels. 

A representative from the ABEI said major violations of Google in Vietnam relate to its loose content management. Besides, Google has failed to control advertising via YouTube and Google Adsense, and allowed users to purchase advertisements from YouTube instead of through domestic advertising service providers.

According to the MIC, there have been about 55,000 video clips found on YouTube with harmful content that violates the law. Although Google has blocked and taken down nearly 8,000 video clips with harmful content on YouTube at the request of authorities, the video-sharing site's content management is still inadequate, making such efforts futile.

The existence of the 55,000 video clips is due to the inefficiency of YouTube’s filter that allows users to post the harmful clips hidden under healthy titles and descriptions.

Besides, there are video clips put in the wrong categories. For example, many clips should be posted on the adult channel instead of the kid’s one.

Besides, there are video clips put in the wrong categories. For example, many clips should be posted on the adult channel instead of the kid’s one. (Source: VNA)

 

According to the ABEI, it took Vietnam one and a half years (from early 2018 to mid-2019) to work with Google to remove 8,000 clips with harmful content. Meanwhile, other harmful clips were published rapidly and with ease.

Over the past two years, Google has cooperated with the MIC in filtering out harmful clips at the request of the ministry. However, the number of these clips is still rising.

Google applies no measures to prevent users from re-posting clips that were removed at the request of management agencies. For example, it took six hours to shut down the channel of internet gangster phenomenon Le Ba Kha, nicknamed Kha Banh, but there were no mechanisms to supervise the removed clips. As a result, they have been re-published on YouTube.

It took six hours to shut down the channel of internet gangster phenomenon Le Ba Kha, nicknamed Kha Banh, but there were no mechanisms to supervise the removed clips. (Source: VNA)

 

Furthermore, Google still allows harmful channels and clips to be suggested by its algorithms, making them spread rapidly.

A representative from the ABEI said violations come from both service suppliers and Vietnamese content creators on YouTube. Since 2016, the amount of YouTube content creators earning money from advertisements has boomed.

 

YouTube reported to the MIC that there have been many violations from Vietnam, mainly committed by local content creators. Major violations include sex, violence, gambling and drug-related content, and copyright infringement.

Famous brands are posting advertisements on clips containing reactionary and anti-State content. Of note, YouTube and content creators shared the money earned from advertisements.

Famous brands are posting advertisements on clips containing reactionary and anti-State content.(Source: VNA)

 

Such deeds have seriously violated legal regulations on advertising and adversely affected the safety and reputation of brands and businesses.

The recurrence of this situation shows Google's remedies have failed to resolve these violations, creating risks for brands when running advertisements on YouTube.

Prevention measures

A representative from the ABEI said the authority will ask YouTube to make a list of channels in Vietnamese which have registered with State agencies.

Only those included in the list with no law-violating content should be considered for advertising revenue sharing.

The MIC will also work with the central bank and other agencies to tighten cash flow management in regards to YouTube and Google.

Agencies have asked YouTube to remove the suggest algorithm on illegal channels named by the MIC, supplement another algorithm that restricts users from reposting clips that have been removed, and continue to partner with the MIC in blocking illegal clips and channels.

Management agencies requested Google consider opening a representative office in Vietnam to take a better care of its customers and fulfill its tax and content management duties.

Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

 

The ABEI has also asked advertising agents to take the initiative in controlling harmful, reactionary and anti-Party and anti-State clips, and reminded Google to observe the law.

It suggested users should not buy advertisements directly from YouTube and Google.

Authorised agencies will list professional content creators who are earning money on YouTube and join hands with the Ministry of Public Security, the State Bank of Vietnam and the General Department of Taxation to handle violations.

Leaders of the ABEI asked businesses in Vietnam to report on their cooperation with YouTube in the capacity as MCN, coordinate with the MIC in managing content and advertisements, and fulfill their tax duty.

A representative of the ABEI said the authority is working on building a mechanism managing MCN and YouTube channels not included in MCN in Vietnam.-VNA