Slate: Vietnam’s Government Is Using COVID-19 to Crack Down on Freedom of Expression

Slate: Vietnam’s Government Is Using COVID-19 to Crack Down on Freedom of Expression. “Though many Asian nations are dealing with very serious outbreaks, Vietnam appears to be one of the most successful in halting the spread of the infection. As of May 8, it has reported just 288 cases, 241 recoveries, and a remarkable zero deaths. While there have been suspicions that China may be underreporting its infected and death rates, there have not been any major accusations of Vietnam doing the same. In fact, many media outlets have praised the Vietnamese government’s aggressive measures, which have included early restrictions on travel, quarantining affected villages, providing free masks, and even writing viral songs. However, the efforts to fight COVID-19 misinformation and fake news online, including with a law enacted in April, reveal the darker side to public awareness efforts in Vietnam—one that stems from a long history of censorship and authoritarianism.”