Facebook has confirmed it is censoring anti-government posts in Vietnam following restrictions that throttled local access to its site.
According to Reuters, Facebook received takedown orders for content deemed “anti-state.” To ensure compliance, the government ordered Facebook’s local servers to be taken down, significantly impacting the site’s performance for local users. In some cases, the website became completely unusable. The action is not surprising, as Vietnam currently ranks 175 out of 180 on the Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index.
As a result of the measures taken, Facebook ultimately gave in, agreeing to censor “anti-state” messages.
“Once we committed to restricting more content, then after that, the servers were turned back online by the telecommunications operators,” one of Reuters’ sources said.
Now that Facebook has shown what it takes to make the company cave, it will be interesting to see how many other countries follow suit.