Fake news and disinformation are global issues impacting not only ASEAN but also countries like Vietnam, necessitating comprehensive solutions.
|Delegates attend the forum. Photo: Congly.vn|
This consensus was reached at the ASEAN Forum on Tackling Disinformation, held in Danang City on September 19. The forum is part of a series of international events on information and communication in the ASEAN region hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) until September 23.
Le Quang Tu Do, the head of the MIC's Department of Radio, Television, and Electronic Information, mentioned that four major platforms dominate in Vietnam: Zalo with 47 million users, YouTube with 63 million users, Facebook with 66 million users, and TikTok with nearly 50 million users. Among these platforms, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok are particularly susceptible to the rapid spread of misinformation.
He added that Vietnam has implemented several regulations to effectively combat misinformation. Unauthenticated accounts and others that spread false information will be suspended. Vietnam will require cross-border platforms to cease reposting false information and remove such content within 48 hours if it violates the law. In urgent cases, information must be removed within 24 hours or even six hours after the incident, he stressed.
Tunku Ahmad, a representative of the Ministry of Information and Communications of Malaysia, stated that his country also faces the spread of fake news on the Internet and social media, with many fabricated stories affecting national unity and stability.
The Malaysian government has established an information portal for citizens to verify information and has created rapid-response information groups.
Current misinformation websites are targeting economic and political goals, said Izzad Zanman, a senior official from the ASEAN Secretariat's Culture and Information Division. This requires ASEAN member states to take further measures to combat fake news, he said.
Besides the government's role in combating fake news and misinformation on media platforms, countries must strengthen cooperation with Google and TikTok by organizing conferences, forums and trainings on preventing and handling misinformation, he stressed.
During the forum, Google and TikTok representatives pledged to work with ASEAN countries and their governments to combat fake news and misinformation. They committed to specific programs and discussions with relevant departments and agencies in their respective countries to develop appropriate strategies.
Closing the forum, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam agreed that online social platforms need to interact more effectively with government agencies. He also stressed the importance of solutions to prevent and combat fake news, including public awareness, effective communication through official channels, capacity building for journalists, and media diversification.
In addition, the application of advanced technologies in detecting and handling misinformation, as well as the continuous updating of policies among member countries and relevant parties, will contribute to effectively addressing the current challenge posed by fake news, he said.
Since 2017, ASEAN has issued various statements and initiatives to raise awareness of the harmful effects of misinformation and fake news. Notably, the Framework and Joint Declaration on Minimizing the Harmful Effects of Fake News at the 14th ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information Meeting (AMRI), and Vietnam's initiative to establish the ASEAN Task Force on Prevention and Control of Fake News, which was adopted at the 19th ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information Meeting (AMRI).