Firstly I want to start with something positive that I’ve seen lately. The conflict between China and Vietnam over the East Sea has motivated a group of young people to film and share a video clip called “Vietnam loves peace” on YouTube to affirm the love for our country and the yearning for peace of Vietnamese people. This is a great example of how meaningful it is to take full advantage of the modest technology of UGC and create something to be remembered proudly.
Undeniably, the spread of UGC practices are important in presenting a profound shift in the relationship between the media, consumer and technology (TurnerHopkins2013). Due to the rapidly emergence growth of UGC, we now everyday accidentally or deliberately expose to an increasing amount of social and political participation as well as more widespread creative practice. However it also has its own downside when people trying to abuse the freedom of expression unconsciously, go beyond permissible limits and go against the traditional principles (Irene2012). Yes, I’m talking about the challenge that UGC comes with when it is used widely and freely in Vietnam: there are profoundly disruptive content that seriously affect the fine traditions.
In a stark contrast with the clip “Vietnam loves peace” which truly demonstrates the human culture virtues of Vietnamese and received significant supports from online community. “Apartment number 69” short sitcom series has been prohibited under the control of Vietnamese Film Department due to the vulgar content which is totally not suitable with the local culture. This is such a price to pay for people who passionate in producing creative practices yet still have unorganized manufacturing that go without the permission of state management agencies (Trung2014).
Moreover, the involvement of UGC also relates to democratic engagement among citizens (Östman 2012). The expressive, performative and collaborative features somehow bring significant impact on the way people react to the state apparatus.
Vietnamese traditional values have been affected deeply Confucians philosophy which most important expectations were to show respect to the elderly, officials and politicians (Vietspring2000). But the openness of UGC once again breaks this fine tradition with the disrespectful statuses, abusive fanpages and ridiculous memes etc. from online community to Vietnam Health Minister – Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and requires her to resign. This warningly shows the ignorance of traditional values from netizens and blurs the certain distance needed between the government and citizens.
I personally appreciate the advantages of UCG for the available useful data via online and connected platforms that we all can benefit from for achieving different goals today. However, I’m extremely worried while thinking about the next generations grows up with a disorienting of chaotic cultures created by UGC. As the result, they might be exposing to vulgar content at an unexpected age instead of cultural productions which have healthy content and educational value. They might be attracted to the movements of offending others, mocking people who are elderly and ministry instead of showing respects and giving polite and convincing opinions. Vietnam image as a country of gentleness, peace-loving and noble traditional values whether can fully exist when facing an explosion of UGC?
Irene, P, 2012, ‘Opennet Initiative Update on threats to freedom of expression online in Vietnam’, viewed 6 August 2014 , https://opennet.net/blog/2012/09/update-threats-freedom-expression-online-vietnam
Östman, J, 2012, Information, expression, participation: How involvement in user-generated content relates to democratic engagement among young people. New Media & Society, 14(6), 1004-1021.
Trung, R,2014, ‘Vietnamese Film Department Attempts Control Of Local Films On Youtube’, viewed 6 August 2014,
Turnners Hopkins, 2013 , ‘Report for Ofcom: The Value of User-Generated Content’ , viewed 6 August 2014 , <http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/research-publications/content.pdf>
Vietspring , 2000 , ‘Vietnamese traditional values’, viewed 6 August 2014, <http://www.vietspring.org/values/traditionalval.html>