Internet Stirs Activism in Vietnam: Social media-based attacks on foreign policy connect Vietnamese diaspora and activists

As in many other authoritarian countries, the internet has opened up doors for dissent and social criticism, but in Vietnam, it also connects the diaspora and draws critiques of the country’s foreign relations.Vietnam acquired connection to the internet in the 1990s, and since then, internet users in Vietnam have rapidly increased to 24 million users in 2010, or 27 percent of the population. For the last few years, the explosion of social media tools posed new challenges to the Party-state’s capacity to control public opinion. Blogs and Facebook provide alternative sources of information which shapes the behavior of journalists and authorities behaviors in real life. The internet has facilitated self-organization among social activists, and its many communication tools allow them to assemble virtually, strengthen friendships and become empowered as a community.

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