VIETNAM: Soft Light Illuminates Faces Behind Bars

YVONNE EPPS WRITES—No one, it seems, can escape the far-reaching grasp of the Internet. Vietnamese authorities thought they could lock away dissidents, but their fingers keep tapping and a scene emerges that looks eerily similar to African Americans during the 1960s Civil Rights era.

According to TuoiTreNews, it’s now apparent that prisoners have been finding ways to continue social media use via smuggled smartphones in Tan Lap Prison, located in the northern province of Phu Tho. In an obvious violation of the law, Inmate Nguyen Duc Hung posted pictures of other inmates and prison life to his Facebook account.  Though illegal, this act revealed the party’s struggle to control media usage. Despite the article’s mentioning of illegal drug trade within the prison, it’s clear that locking media users behind bars won’t stop the notifications.

The attention given to the number of bloggers thrown into jail is starting to gain momentum. NBC News in the U.S. recently posted an article about the country’s trending behavior, in which media users must worry about being harassed or even jailed by authorities. Despite the dangers, one blogger insisted change won’t come unless people speak out. This is true, and soon Vietnam might not be able to keep up with the influence of social media.

Vietnam’s behavior of throwing bloggers into jails echoes American prisons over packed with young black college students in the 1960s on their quest for freedom. Regardless of which ocean they face, it appears that humans still haven’t learned from past mistakes.  It’s evident that one can’t completely cease the influence of the media, and it would appear that these prisoners are attempting to make a statement rather than arguing for a possible solution.

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