Social Networks is a newly developed commercial form. Enterprises that want to do business in this field need to pay attention to the regulations on conditions for establishment, content, and prohibited behaviors when setting up social networks to avoid being fined.
Social network is an information system that provides users with network services for storing, providing, using, searching, sharing and exchanging information with each other, including services for creating personal electronic information pages, forums, online chat, sharing audio, images and other similar services.
1. Conditions for setting up social networks
According to the regulations, businesses are only allowed to establish social networks when they have a Social Network Establishment License issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications. This social network establishment license has a term according to the proposal of the enterprise not exceeding 10 years.
The licensed enterprise is obliged to establish a social network within 90 days from the effective date of the license. After this deadline, if the enterprise does not establish a social network, the license wil cease to be valid. Enterprises that establish social networks without a valid (e.g. an expired) license will be fined from 20 million VND to 30 million VND.
An enterprise is granted a license to establish a social network when it fully meets the following conditions:
- Is an enterprise established under Vietnamese Law with functions, tasks or business registration in accordance with the services and information provided;
- Having management personnel who meet the requirements as prescribed by the Ministry of Information and Communications;
- Registered domain name used to set up social network;
- Having sufficient financial, technical, organizational and personnel capabilities that are suitable for the scale of operation;
- Take measures to ensure information safety and information security.
Note, in case there is a change in the owner of the licensed social network, the procedures such as granting a new license must be carried out within 30 days from the date of transfer. For social networks that have been granted a Certificate of service provision according to the provisions of Decree No. 97/2008/ND-CP dated August 28th 2008 and Circular No. 14/2010/TT-BTTTT dated August 29, 2008 dated June 29th 2010, if continuing to operate, they must carry out procedures for a new license under the provisions of Circular 09/2014/TT-BTTTT within 180 days from the effective date of this Circular.
2. Mandatory information of the social network page
The social network page must fully provide the following information:
- The name of the organization that manages the social network;
- Name of the governing body (if any);
- Contact address, email address, contact phone number, name of person responsible for the content management;
- Valid license number, date, month, year of issue, licensing agency.
3. Prohibited activities
Businesses owning social networks are not allowed to do the following activities:
- Taking advantage of the provision and use of Internet services and information on the network for the purpose of:
- Acting against Vietnam; causing harm to national security, social order and safety; undermining the great national unity bloc; propaganda war, terrorism; causing hatred and conflict among ethnic groups, races and religions;
- Propaganda and incitement to violence, lewdness, debauchery, crimes, social evils, superstition, destruction of the nation’s fine customs and traditions;
- Disclosing the nation’s secrets, including: military/security/economic secrets, foreign affairs and other secrets prescribed by the Law;
- Disseminating information which distorts, slanders or offends the reputation of the organization, the honor and dignity of individuals;
- Advertising, propagating, trading in prohibited goods and services; disseminating journalistic/literary/artistic works, and prohibited publications;
- Forging organizations and individuals and spreading fake and untrue information infringing upon the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals.
- Illegally obstructing the provision and access of lawful information, the provision and use of lawful services on the Internet by organizations and individuals.
- Illegally obstructing the operation of the Vietnamese national domain name server system “.vn”, the lawful operation of the equipment system providing Internet services and information on the network.
- Illegally using passwords or cryptographic keys of organizations or individuals; private information, personal information and Internet resources.
- Illegally creating links to legitimate domain names of organizations and individuals; create, install, distribute malware, computer viruses; illegally infiltrate, gain control of information systems, create attack tools on the Internet.
In case of providing information or content that violates the above-mentioned prohibition, depending on the nature and severity of the violation, the social network owner may be fined from 20 million VND to 100 million VND, and be deprived the right to use the license from 1 month to 3 months.