Netizen in hot water for posting more han 200 fake news about COVID-19 pandemic

March 28, 2020 | 17:26
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Despite the regulations on posting inaccurate news on social media and other networks, a key opinion leader (KOL) still ignores these regulations and released more than 200 statuses containing disinformation, reaching thousands of gullible readers.
netizen in hot water for posting more han 200 fake news about covid 19 pandemic
A netizen was found to have posted more than 200 statuses based on fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic

On March 27, the Department of Cyber Security and Hi-tech Crime Prevention and Control under the Ministry of Public Security contacted the KOL named D.N.Q living in Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi to call them to task over posting fake news about COVID-19.

Accordingly, since February, D.N.Q posted approximately 300 inaccurate news about the pandemic in many cities and provinces across the country on his private Facebook account.

The news appeared before official information was published by the Ministry of Health and attracted hundreds of likes, shares, and comments each, making his private Facebook wall an original source for disinformation about the epidemic.

D.N.Q affirmed that he collected the information from many sources without checking their authenticity and then added his opinion in these statuses.

The authority removed 216 statuses containing unchecked information from D.N.Q’s private Facebook wall.

The Department of Cyber Security and Hi-tech Crime Prevention and Control will continue to collect documents and evidence to punish D.N.Q and related people.

In Vietnam, there are nearly 70 million internet users and 65 million active social media users, who account for approximately 70 per cent of the total population, according to statistics from digital media agency We Are Social. This makes fighting fake news on social media a considerable effort.

Each user spends an average of 6.5 hours a day on the internet, which means there are massive amounts of information generated and running through online platforms. And while some information is trustworthy, a lot more is not, and an avalanche of them finds its way to websites, blog posts, and forums to overshadow level-headed news from reliable sources with their uproarious headlines, overinflated claims, and downright falsities.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has just signed Decree 15 outlining the administrative fines for violations in telecommunications, radiofrequency, technology information, and e-transactions. In addition to the penalties, the new law also stipulates measures to recover damages and the relevant court to pass sentence for such violations.

Accordingly, posting fake news on social networks will be applied the highest sanction of VND20 million ($870) from April 15, 2020.

By Ha Vy

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