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Friday, October 27, 2017, 13:44 (GMT+7)
Exercising vigilance against false information for bad purposes on the Internet and social networks

Nowadays, there are various kinds of information on the Internet and social networks, including a great deal of false information, or even distorted information fabricated for the purpose of sabotaging the country. Whilst the majority of readers clearly express their discontent, unfortunately there remain a small number of people who are credulous, or even side with and accidentally “assist the enemy.” Thus, there is a need to exercise great vigilance and care when absorbing these kinds of information.

The increased users, spreading capacity and influence of the Internet and social networks have been exploited by bad people to disseminate fabricated information, causing ambiguity and anxiety in the society. The hostile forces, through different forms, have set up fake stories, or partly true ones, later enlivened, to make information receivers misunderstand the nature of things and interpret these stories according to their dark intentions. A thorough look at information on the Internet and social networks reveals that these people have had relatively “immense” imagination and drawn new pictures excessively grey and full of negative things about situations in our country, such as a degenerate Party and State, retrograde cadres and party members, and a corrupt, disorderly society. These pictures are interpreted, commented and quibbled in order to “clarify” problems. Taking advantage of social network users’ curiosity, they use digital technology to put together various things and phenomena; collect and connect several published data; cite knowledge from ancient times to the present; recapitulate unverifiable information to make things seemingly authentic; and add some romantic details to make up “sensational” events to arouse readers’ interest aimed to turn unreal things into real ones.

In view of issues that are stirring domestic opinion, particularly those our Party and State are focusing their leadership and direction, including party building, anti-corruption and anti-wastefulness, environmental protection, strengthened law and order, etc., they have published distorted articles and images to speak ill of our Party, State and regime, and incite sabotage against and opposition to socialism. When our Party warn about the risks of “interest groups”, “crony capitalism,” etc., they immediately make allegations that “the Communist Party is the biggest interest group,” “the Party and State have become instruments for the corrupted rulers to exploit people,” and so forth. On YouTube and several blogs, they have made up trivial stories about the Party and fabricated information to speak ill of high-ranking officials and former high-ranking officials of our Party and State with a view to proving that there are “problems,” “factions,” “scramble for power,” and “internal purification,” thus creating smokescreens to deceive public opinion and undermining people’s belief in the Party and regime.

Furthermore, they have also collected information regarding negative affairs in newspapers to mould in a malicious manner; made clips about negative phenomena of traffic wardens and environmental pollution; or set the scenes for clashes between the law enforcement forces and some extremists, etc., to slander authorities and incite opposition. They have stepped up propaganda to assemble forces and established illegal associations and groups such as “Vietnamese independent literature group” and “Vietnamese association of independent journalists” operating under the cover of “civil society” organizations, “democratic forums,” etc., to call for struggle for “freedom,” “democracy,” “human rights,” and “religions” in Vietnam. They have incited artists and writers to struggle for “freedom” of composing and publishing works of literature, and distorted the Party’s leadership and State’s management over literature and arts. In addition, they have openly “ordered” and “paid high royalties” for newspaper articles against the country; encouraged the youth to create facebook accounts with the allegation that “each user would be a writer, a journalist, an event organizer, and a genuine freelance editor-in-chief,” and so on. After having been uploaded on social networks, obviously, these works would be “juggled” at many addresses of some individuals and organizations hostile towards Vietnam. Nevertheless, it must be noted that, instead of being boycotted, criticized and rejected, those harmful pieces of information have been accessed, or even commented, disseminated and shared by several people, including young ones. This is wrong, dangerous behaviour since, whether by accident or design, it has contributed to propagandizing and supporting hostile allegations aimed to sabotage our country. The Internet and social networks become increasingly popular and bring about a number of positive values for societies. However, they are obviously “double edged knives” with potential risks if they are employed incorrectly. Beside providing useful information and knowledge, serving to emancipate thought and guide social progress, they are also places to store and distribute numerous harmful information and images. That load of rubbish exert negative influence on thought, sentiment and consensus in societies, arousing people’s suspicion of guidelines and policies of the Party and State. Its consequences affect morality, lifestyles and personality of individuals and communities, as well as socio-economic development and defence and security consolidation of the country. Thus, apart from responsibilities of state agencies for the management of the Internet and social networks, and propaganda and education aimed to enhance the social network users’ “defence” capabilities, individuals’ responsibilities are of vital importance. The Internet and social network users must be always honest and vigilant, possess firm spirit, know how to differentiate between right and wrong, and maintain proper attitudes towards every information on the Internet. While searching for information and obtaining knowledge to enrich our minds, we also have to cope with harmful things that any true Vietnamese people cannot ignore. Peace and development of our beloved country today are attributed to numerous generations who, in response to the call of President Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), spared no sacrifice and effort to fight against foreign aggressors to gain and firmly uphold independence and freedom of the Fatherland; and are making every effort to work and build an increasingly prosperous country. Therefore, facing fabricated, distorted allegations denying revolutionary achievements, if we “turned a blind eye” to them, would we be taking insufficient responsibility for the Fatherland, feeling ashamed with previous generations, and betraying our own ideals? Is behaviour imitating, disseminating, sharing, commenting, or supporting the wrong allegations complicity and abetment? These activities would not only create an environment to “foster” the evils and wickedness, but also raise the negative effects in social life. Recently, when marine pollution incidents took place in Central Vietnam, some people in the provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, and Quang Binh, owing to their lack of consideration and belief in bad people’s provocative, fabricated allegations, gathered illegally, destroyed machines, obstructed traffic, etc., affecting political security and social order in those localities. In the face of noisily sabotage campaign on social networks, several people, including journalists, have forgotten their roles and responsibilities when expressing their personal viewpoints in complicity with the wrong allegations. These journalists’ deeds have had considerable influence on public opinion, and damaged themselves.

To achieve the goal of eradicating socialism in Vietnam, the hostile forces are making every effort to exploit the Internet and social networks to distort and sully the Party, State and our people’s cause of innovation, and national development and defence. Consequently, each Vietnamese person must always exercise high vigilance to prevent us from being “caught” in their snares. Given these slandering, fabricated allegations, social network users should publicly express their political opinions, resolutely fight against and reject these allegations in a highly convincing, sensible, logic manner. By doing so, we are able to establish an increasingly healthy social network “environment” while proving Vietnamese people’s spirit, personality, attitudes, and responsibilities for behaviour undermining our country. In the process of using the Internet and social networks, everyone needs to recognize online newspapers, news pages, forums, etc., which regularly publish harmful information so as to enhance their vigilance and behave properly. Social network users should not access and share unauthenticated information since it is unreliable. Actually, an online newspaper inside the country republished information released by a foreign newspaper when this information had not been authenticated. This resulted in serious consequences. Moreover, whilst citing sources and sharing information from social networks, we must always comply with relevant regulations stipulated by law; affirm by our selves which is official information and forged one. We are not allowed to use our personal pages to share and synthesize like an online news page, and have to assume legal responsibilities for comments and information on the attached links shared by us.

One of the most perilous allegations they often resort to attack our Party on social networks originates in corruption, collusion, and bribery committed by some degenerated cadres and party members. They deduce that, actually, our Party and State do not represent the interest of the country and people but for “interest groups” and “purse strings of the elites.” This is a disgusting slandering and a bold distortion, but cannot cheat true Vietnamese people. It is a common knowledge that, since its foundation, our Party has constantly fulfilled its missions entrusted by the history; led our people to carry out the national democratic revolution successfully to gain independence and national reunification; and expedited reforms and national building and defence. That is an obvious truth that cannot be denied by any enemies. During its leading process, our Party has constantly given attention to “self-correction” so as to make every party organization, cadre and party member really pure, strong and capable of meeting the demands of assigned tasks.

In the reform period, in spite of being adversely affected by the market economy, the majority of cadres and party members still hold firm to revolutionary behaviour and morality. However, there is a small number of cadres in high positions, including senior ones, being retrograded and degenerated, committing corruption and wastefulness, and violating regulations on cadre work, economic management, etc., having serious consequences. Thus, in many documents, our Party has warned and set out measures to overcome this reality. Notably, in the two consecutive terms, the Party has spent two plenums of the Party Central Committee (the 4th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (tenures XI and XII)) in scrutinizing and working out measures to deal with the situation. On realizing resolutions of the Party Central Committee, our Party and State have instructed that anyone committing wrongdoings would be punished as provided in law and the Party regulations. There would be no exception and forbidden ground. That move has garnered the sympathy and support from people from all walks of life; demonstrated the Party’s strict and clear discipline, and our law-abiding society; made contribution to stopping and repulsing degradation in political thought, morality, lifestyle, “self-evolution,” and “self-transformation” among cadres and party members; and made people increasingly respect and believe in the Party. That is also a robust evidence to reject the hostile forces’ reactionary, distorted allegations aimed to smear our Party in cyberspace.

By Vinh Hien

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