Vietnam introduces 'fake news' fines for COVID-19 misinformation

iStock [illustration]

Vietnam on Wednesday announced stricter punishments for those who use social media to circulate "fake news".

According to the new decree, a fine of 10-20 million dong ($426-$853) will be imposed on people who use social media to share false, untruthful, distorted, or slanderous information.

It comes as the country is struggling to stem the spread of misinformation around the novel coronavirus, with hundreds of people already slapped with fines.

Critics, however, pointed out that the new rule did not deal only with coronavirus-related material, and could be misused by the government to shut them out.

"This decree provides yet another potent weapon in the Vietnamese authorities' arsenal of online repression," said Tanya O'Carroll, Director of Tech at Amnesty International. "It contains a raft of provisions that blatantly violate Vietnam's international human rights obligations".

More from International News

  • 99% of missiles and drones fired by Iran shot down, Israel says

    Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight, 99 per cent of which were shot down, the Israeli military said on Sunday, adding that the armed forces remained fully functional and were discussing follow-up options.

  • Indonesian landslides kill at least 14

    At least 14 people have been killed in landslides on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the country's disaster mitigation agency said on Sunday, with rescue efforts ongoing for those reported missing.

  • Israel says Hamas has rejected hostage, aid proposal

    Hamas has rejected the latest proposal for a deal to return Israeli hostages and Israel will continue to pursue its objectives in Gaza "with full force", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement on Sunday.

  • Sydney stabbings not a terrorist attack, police say

    The man who fatally stabbed six people in Sydney had mental health issues in the past and there was no indication ideology was a motive in the attack in one of the city's busiest shopping centres, police said on Sunday.

Blogs