Vietnam says Google to remove toxic content
Vietnam says Google to remove toxic content Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Google's parent company Alphabet will work with the Vietnam government to remove "toxic" and illegal content from its platform.

In February, Vietnam complained about anti-government and offensive content on Facebook and YouTube, urging domestic companies to withhold advertising until the tech majors come up with a solution.

The Vietnamese government, on its website, said Alphabet, in a meeting with chairman Eric Schmidt and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi on Friday (26 February), has pledged to act on the complaints, suggests a Reuters report.

"Mr. Eric Schmidt said (he) will tightly cooperate with Vietnam to remove toxic information violating Vietnamese laws and will consider opening a representative office in the country," Vietnam government said in a statement.

Together with YouTube, Facebook accounts for two-thirds of the digital media market share in Vietnam, domestic agency Isobar Vietnam says.

Despite Vietnam being one of Asia's fastest developing countries and a target for global consumer brands, it makes up a very small part of the business of tech companies such as Facebook and Google.

"We have clear policies for removal requests from governments around the world, and those policies have not changed," Taj Meadows, head of Policy Communications, Asia-Pacific, at Google told Reuters.

"We rely on governments to notify us of content that they believe is illegal through official processes, and where appropriate, will restrict it after a thorough review," Meadows added.

In addition to meeting the prime minister, Schmidt met several other Vietnamese people.

"I told Eric about Vietnam's internet censorship issue and he said he knew about it and would try to improve internet freedom here in a delicate way," singer and activist Mai Khoi told Reuters.