Facebook in Vietnam 2012

Submitted by tomo on January 9, 2012 - 4:03pm

Happy 2012!

Despite one of FPT's divisions signing a contract with Facebook to be a Facebook developer partner in Vietnam, unlike what many folks here in Vietnam had hoped, it did not mean that FPT would keep access to Facebook flowing freely. Facebook isn't actually banned in Vietnam, it just suffers from "technical difficulties" from time to time that nobody seems to bother to investigate for the millions of users in Vietnam. So businesses still advertise and do business using Facebook as a platform. Even the State uses Facebook, with the Vietnam Administration of Tourism stating they will campaign on Facebook. I suppose they don't mind if only people outside of Vietnam can see the ads, even if most tourists in Vietnam come from Vietnam.

There are a number of theories as to why it's sometimes difficult to access Facebook in Vietnam. In China, it's outright banned. In Cambodia, it's just really slow, but otherwise doesn't suffer the same "technical difficulties" despite using the same Internet service providers as Vietnam (as Vietnamese telecoms serve as uplinks to Cambodian ISPs). Some of the conspiracy theories include pressure from rival social networks like Zing Me or the government's own Go.vn, or that Facebook is blocked due to not paying taxes.

As of right now, FPT has started making it "technically difficult" to access Facebook, whereas Viettel seems to be okay, and VNPT is hit or miss (currently it is working on this VNPT connection), Mobifone is a no go. The usual method of changing your /etc/hosts file or your DNS will no longer work. Using apps like HotSpot Shield, VPNs, proxies, and SSH tunnels will always work. You can also use various apps including Seesmic or Hootsuite to access both Facebook and Twitter at the same time.

So if you don't want to play musical chairs with your ISPs as each one opens/closes access to Facebook, be sure to have one of the above in your arsenal of freedom.

If your ISP is blocking Facebook then you must use a general workaround such as Hotspot Shield (spammy) or a VPN like StrongVPN.

Sean_VN (not verified)

They are also blocking most physical sciences blogs/groups/forums. Nice one!

tomo

Really? Physical sciences? Can you give me an example?

Apato (not verified)

Facebook isn't actually banned in Vietnam, it just suffers from "technical difficulties" from time to time
I totally agree when you said so. People in Vietnam can always use Facebook. Whenever technical difficulties occur, solutions come after. When I personally could not log in to Facebook, I google the latest solution, then it's back again :)

FB Vietnam (not verified)

Hm. It seems to be kind of back an forth. For a while, it was officially blocked as far as I know, but according to your post, there seems to be some tech-loops you can jump through to access it. Whatever the reason, it's a real pain.

Steven (not verified)

Holy cow! I had no idea that Facebook was being blocked out by these 'tech' issues. Thanks a lot for this insight!

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