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Vietnam wants social media platforms to use AI to detect “toxic content”

The move comes in as one of the measures undertaken by the Vietnamese government for stringent monitoring of online content

Vietnam has directed cross-border social media companies to use artificial intelligence to detect and remove toxic content on their platforms, according to a Reuters report on June 30. According to the report, details on the process and timeline to abide by the requirements are not yet revealed. The move comes in as one of the measures undertaken by the Vietnamese government for stringent monitoring of online content, reportedly to tackle false news and scams. In May this year, Reuters also reported that the country is also preparing to mandate identity verification for social media users to combat online scams. In November 2022, the government also asked social media companies to take down content flagged to be false or “anti-state” by Vietnamese authorities in 24 hours. Why it matters: The obligation placed on online platforms to proactively screen content and take them down using algorithm-based tools indicates a disproportionate measure against false and harmful content. Most importantly, such content-screening methods can adversely impact people’s right to privacy, as well as freedom of speech and expression. Country-specific rules for content monitoring vary, largely depending on local factors. And, in some cases where the understanding of “false news” largely depends on the government’s discretion, like in India and Vietnam, there’s greater pressure on platforms to restrict the free flow of information online. In such cases, the algorithm-based screening will further lead to a wrongful restriction on account of errors and bias. We are witnessing similar developments in India where Courts are expecting platforms like Google to use AI tools…

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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