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Accessing Facebook in Vietnam

The Vietnam Reform Party has uploaded a document giving instructions to internet users on how to access Facebook in Vietnam. There have been many instances when some websites, including Facebook, are blocked in Vietnam.


  • Ah come on – this is nine month old story linking to a three month old link.

    Worse still part of the advice in that link is so out of date it no longer works. There is no Facebook Lite any more, it has now been closed down.

  • You comments and advice are completely welcome – is there any reason you find it necessary to be unfriendly?

  • Solana,

    I sam sorry but do you think that this is good journalism? Do you think this relfects well on Global Voices? Global Voices was set up to cover just such stories as the Facebook ban but why cover it in such sloppy and brief fashion three quarters of a year late – lazily linking to a piece so out of date that the advice is, in parts, no longer useable?

    When was the last piece of genuine news reported from Vietnam? The last story written at any length was way back in February and covered the somewhat tired cliche of Vietnamese people eating dogs?

    This is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It has a massive diaspora of interested readers and a huge number of issues and this is what we get?

    The last equally brief post before this was to a mainstream newspaper story about a cafe for cats. A fun tale if it was in a local blog but it was in a major paper not exactly the “emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard” that Global Voices promises.

    Sorry if I appear unfriendly. Perhaps it would be better if I did what everyone else does with Global Voices now, perhaps I should just ignore it?

    But I actually think that it is a worthwhile organisation and it deserve a great deal better. Just as Vietnam deserves better.

    Nothing personal to Mong Palatino, I guess he is just stretched too thinly.

  • Steve:

    We’re a volunteer organization. Our large team of authors are people who volunteer to write, either because see gaps in the coverage or because they enjoy sharing perspectives from their countries. It’s a friendly community of people working together to cover as much as possible. We’ve had several Vietnam authors in the past, but none are currently active. We wish we had more! It’s a big world, and as much as we try, we’re obviously never going to be equally active in all countries at all times. Mong is the regional editor for South East Asia which means he works with volunteers to cover as many countries as possible in the region, and fills in the gaps as well as he can from those places where we have no authors. You might be upset with the lack of Vietnam coverage, but I guess if you were inclined to help, you would have volunteered to write stories yourself ;-) Apart from that your feedback is genuinely welcome as well as links, ideas, etc.


  • You said: “You might be upset with the lack of Vietnam coverage, but I guess if you were inclined to help, you would have volunteered to write stories yourself ;-”

    I was inclined to help – and I already did volunteer.

    Portnoy Zheng said I would be invited to join you soon. I wasn’t.

    Mr Palatino then emailed me apologising that there was no excuse for the rare posting and it would be rectified.

    He asked me whether I knew of any blogs in Vietnam. He claimed mine was already bookmarked but he can’t have looked too closely because there are already 90 Vietnam-based blogs clearly listed on it and linked and split into geographic areas on the front page of my blog.

    Admittedly these are all English language blogs, mostly by foreigners, but that’s surely still better than Global Voices mostly linking to US-based blogs or mainstream Vietnamese news stories.

    He also asked about any lists of tweeters in Vietnam. Again, perhaps I should have responded, but surely it is the easiest thing in the world to simply type Vietnam into assorted Twitter search engines. is currently following not one single Vietnam-based Twitter user. It apparently has no interest in Vietnam whatsoever.

    It takes ten second to Google “Vietnam Twitter List” or about the same time to set up a Twitter search via Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.

    But Mong knows this, judging by his private site he is an accomplished journalist in his own right, writing for such weighty publications as The Diplomat. He’s probably infinitely more skilled in this area than I am or will ever be.

    We don’t need to tip people off about online stories anymore. That’s what Twitter is for. That is what RSS searches are about. If Global Voices isn’t leading the way in international social media news aggregation then who will?

    Where is the blogging in Vietnam coverage? But also where are the pics taken in Vietnam? Vietnam has a booming interest in photography. Where are the embeddable movies?

    Mong is obviously a talented reporter but he has neither time, nor the knowledge, nor the interest to cover such a wide area and do justice to a country like Vietnam.

    So yes, I am upset about the lack of coverage and yes I did volunteer to assist. Like I said – judging by the absolute lack of comments I could have just done what everyone else in Vietnam does now – ignore Global Voices and write them off.

    To be frank, in the future that is what I am going to do. Because I am no longer convinced that it has the desire to excel at what it does and live up to its own ideals. Even beyond South East Asia I am not sure any journalist would benefit from being associated with it. Certainly having offered to volunteer once and having the offer ignored I won’t be doing so again.

    This is Global Voices Online. The “online” bit is important. This is online coverage and it is giving bloggers a voice. It should be just as easy for a regional editor based in the Philippines (or at the HQ in Holland for that matter) to cover Vietnam as it is to cover their own country. It’s desk bound research. The only thing missing is the desire to do it well.

    In that respect Vietnam is as easy to cover as any country in South East Asia – so where is the coverage?

  • Dear Steve,

    Mong emailed you in a friendly manner asking for ideas and suggestions. That could have been the beginning of a conversation, but you chose not to respond. I’m not sure how you would volunteer without speaking to the regional editor. You seem to prefer to be antagonistic, which is entirely unnecessary. You have been helpful in reminding us that our Vietnam coverage is lacking – something we are aware of and openly acknowledge. We are human aggregators, not machines – and not every country in the world is equally well covered. To you in Vietnam, that is obviously no consolation. Our intentions are sincere and positive, and you would have been welcome to join us had you been genuinely interested in anything but having your own negative perceptions confirmed.


  • \I’m not sure how you would volunteer without speaking to the regional editor.\

    I left a comment on here volunteering under a piece he wrote. What more do you want me to do. Ring him personally?

    Obviously as managing editor, you hadn’t read that, when you later wrongly said , I hadn’t offered to volunteer.

    \We are human aggregators, not machines\ – no, you are humans who should know how to aggregate with your machines. If you don’t know then it would explain a lot.

    I was more than happy to help Mong but couldn’t do his job for him. He is still more than welcome to put every Vietnam blog on my blogroll in his RSS reader and follow everyone I follow on Twitter.

    If you want to settle for just being \sincere and positive\ then that’s up to you. I thought your duty to readers, funders, journalism etc went beyond that.

    Many apologies if I have offended and perhaps this has sounded more confrontational than I intended. But far from just being interested in my own \negative perceptions confirmed\ I believed the ideals behind Global Voices were truly ground breaking and absolutely and increasingly vital.

  • Sandra

    Hey, good interchange of positions, but no help for the readers. I am living in Hanoi, and I need to know how to access facebook. Everytime I change home is a different story. Sometimes the set up of DNS address works wells but sometmes not. This is a my 3rd home since I came 6 month ago. Can you help, instead of arguing?

  • Rob

    Fer reals, if you’re gonna argue about this silliness, then please be less verbose and more obnoxious, gritty, and entertaining.

    Facebook works in all the internet cafes and hostels, so they’ve figured it out.

    It also works on my iTouch. You can access the mobile site using your computer browser, and that’ll work too, but maybe the best idea is to ask some friendly net cafe peeps how they do it.

  • sara omali

    The best way to access blocked websites is to use a vpn service, is the best you can get,

    1Month only $3.3 | 2Months $5 | 3Months $7 | 6Months $10 | 12Months $16 |

    It has totally FREE test account.

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