Why Vietnam Is Asking Other Asian Countries to Help Squelch Fake News

A surge in fake news around Southeast Asia, particularly bogus COVID-19 information, has prompted leaders to explore a regional crackdown after a suggestion from a Vietnamese security official.

Police agencies in the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries – which represent a total population of about 650 million from Myanmar to the Philippines – should improve cooperation to stop fake news among other cross-border crimes, a Vietnamese official said at a September 25 meeting with peers from around Southeast Asia.

“I think the issue is something that ASEAN has been keeping tabs on, but perhaps I think the impetus for Vietnam’s call recently is due to the COVID-19 situation and the consequent infodemic,” said Harris Zainul, an analyst at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia.

Keep reading

Ralph Jennings