Vietnam asks brands to stop spending ad dollars on YouTube, calling it a 'propaganda machine'

Vietnam has urged brands to stop spending advertising dollars on YouTube, accusing the Google-owned platform of willingly carrying ‘anti-state propaganda’.

The country’s Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) called out brands like Samsung Electronics, Huawei Technologies, Yamaha Motors and Grab, for buying ads in videos containing "illegal and malicious content’.

"Google was found to loosely manage its content, allowing users to buy ads directly from YouTube and Google without the involvement of domestic ad agents," according to a statement put out by the MIC.

"In the near future, the authorities will ask YouTube to identify Vietnamese channels, and only certified ones will be considered for ad revenue sharing. The ministry will work with the State Bank of Vietnam and relevant agencies to closely manage ad revenue flows on YouTube and Google.”

The ministry also said it had identified about 55,000 YouTube videos that were "harmful", or in violation of Vietnamese law. It has successfully requested 8,000 of these videos to be removed.

The Drum has reached out to Google for comments.

Singapore recently passed its new anti-fake news law, called The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) in Parliament, with the overwhelming majority from the House.

The POFMA, tabled in Parliament in April, gives the government more power to act against the spread of what it has termed as 'falsehoods'.