The Internet is an apparatus of information, entertainment and communication- but is it utilized as it should be? We Are Social, a global independent social media agency, reports that Vietnam’s social, digital and mobile opportunities are evolving as the country reaches about 31 million Internet users. Although this is an impressive number at first glance, it is also important to remember that the content on the Internet in Vietnam is regulated, and a portion of the population lives in Internet-scarce rural areas. The report by We Are Social states that the 31 million Internet users only represent about 35 percent of the total population, which is the global average for internet use.
The report also states that 90 percent of Vietnamese Internet users watch online videos, but only 24 percent have YouTube accounts. As an American observer, it would be virtually blasphemous to not be able to post videos, video blogs or content to the Internet, but Vietnam’s government uses a communist-control approach to media. As they regulate the content that can be accessed on the Internet, it would come as no surprise to see Vietnamese Internet users hesitant to engage in activities that might get them in trouble with the government.
The rising number of people who are able to access the Internet is great to see, but it would be even better if they also had the same freedom that we have in America.