In the United States, TikTok has been facing unbearable pressure from the government and activist organizations over perceived censorship of the people.
Several human rights organizations in the US believe that the app is a potential distraction for the younger generation and could be utilized by the Chinese government to monitor and extract data from American citizens.
However, in Vietnam, the government pressures TikTok’s parent company to add more censorship to the app or face a potential ban. Huy Dao, an entrepreneur in Ho Chi Minh City, had created a TikTok video that he thought was informative, playful, and ultimately harmless. But the reverse was the case as it started a lot of tension between TikTok and the Vietnam government.
Huy Dao, an entrepreneur in Ho Chi Minh City, who is about 29 years old, created a video criticizing the educational system of Vietnam. It was a funny video making a mockery of some college degrees that the Vietnam TikTok user termed “useless.”
One of the degrees that this TikTok user was criticizing was business administration. He claimed that the certificate was a bit useless as anyone could do the same thing which a business administration student does.
He also lamented that the only departments that business administration graduates can work in are sales and marketing. “You can only work in sales or marketing, and any major is good enough for these jobs,” the young entrepreneur said in the video.
Due to the funny nature of the video, the TikTok video, which was posted last year, went viral and reached the authorities of Vietnam. Shortly after going viral in 2022, the video almost disappeared.
Suddenly in March 2023, the video is back and has gone viral again on the internet. The Vietnam government had to make a statement and denounce the video. The head of state broadcasting, Le Quang Tu Do, condemned the trend publicly, saying that it was “giving nonsense advice” to the young youths of their nation.
Both the state and heads of universities were concerned about the effects the video could have on the young population. Many leaders of state-owned universities said they fear many young people might stop attending college after watching the viral video.
Vietnam TikTok Ban Getting Closer
Despite the same video going viral in 2022 and 2023, it was clear that the government had taken a different stance. Within the same period of 2023, TikTok began or received major attacks from state-owned media stations. Both in the written and televised form, TikTok saw headlines against them.
They took to heaping the blame on TikTok for promoting anti-government, offensive, and inappropriate content for children. They commented that the Chinese government was sponsoring inappropriate videos on TikTok with headlines like “The Chinese government is treating TikTok addiction for the young.”
TikTok users in Vietnam may also lose access to the app as the government has already launched a probe against TikTok, seeking to ban the app. On May 22, Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications commented that TikTok would be closely scrutinized to determine if they are guilty of all ten allegations against them.