User Generated Content: Freedom of creating content overwhelm traditional values


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 ,

Östman, J, 2012, Information, expression, participation: How involvement in user-generated content relates to democratic engagement among young people. New Media & Society14(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 , <;

Vietspring , 2000 , ‘Vietnamese traditional values’, viewed 6 August 2014, <> 






User Generated Content: Springboard to the unlimited or limited creativity?


In the last blog, I mentioned how UGC help Vietnamese marketers to successfully reach their target customers and make them potential storytellers. In this blog, once again, I’m excitingly to talk about how this range of communication technologies has an impact on Vietnamese youth and their creativities. As a young netizen, I feel interesting yet bewildered while exposing to a mountain of different UGC creative practices created by local young people every day.



Every day I expose to people creative practices

Every day I expose to people creative practices


Vietnam has the quickest growth rate of Internet users in the region with 40% of Vietnamese’s online population in between the ages of 15 and 24 (Do2013). Internet helps Vietnamese young people to live more socialize , dynamically and confidentially since they can cultivate knowledge and expand relationships with just one simple click. Unlike traditional Vietnamese young generation, Vietnamese young people today are no longer timid and passively watching other’s creative works on TV, magazine etc. Thanks to the innovative applications, young people now can actively do something seemingly impossible like creating their own production such as drawing, movie, game , blog , vlog or even create software programs which all have high applicability in today society.  




Thus, UGC gives young people more opportunities to develop their talents, assert contributions and even generate additional income (EFF2013).  Specifically, Nguyen Dong Ha – a young game creator has created a called Flappy Bird which has been the No.1 free game in IOS and Google Play appstores for the past few months. It’s a simple game in terms of graphics, but it is competitive and challenging which make the game players feel extremely addicting and keep sharing their playing experiences (Gamesbeat2014). Despite the issues which caused the removal of Flappy Bird, this hot viral gaming had been popular globally and brought $50.000 advertising revenue to the game creator per day. This is indeed a great example to inspire Vietnamese young people to embrace technology and get creative (Ellis2014). 


Obviously, UGC allow users to collaborate in a way that helps them be creative at their will and pleasure and connect with the world. However, young people who operate in the digital field mostly have lack of knowledge about the rights, restrictions and the copy law (Palfrey, Gasser, Simun, and Barnes 2009). For instance, Son Tung Mtp – a young Vietnamese underground singer had engaged in an unlawful behavior such as illegal plagiarized beat, copied style and music video content from famous Korean singers. He was successfully produced his own music productions, gained huge media coverage and a large number of fans. Unfortunately, the truth was debunked and those projects which not his original works were stripped of music awards under the decision of the Ministry of Culture. This is such an expensive lesson for educating Son Tung Mtp and young people to be aware of copy right law, “in terms of their ability to contribute to cultural knowledge with creative practices and to engage with the law that governs society” (Palfrey, Gasser, Simun, and Barnes 2009).





To be concluded, Internet offers UGC to be used with wide range of purposes. For young people who are full of zeal to conquer worldwide audience with their impressive creative practices should equip themselves with adequate knowledge about copyright law and show respect to other’s content. UCG can be a springboard for you to jump in a sea of unlimited creativity or just push you down to a hole of limited creativity which highly affected by someone else. Stay different, stay creative!   




Do AM, 2013, TechinAsia, ‘Vietnam Internet Report: A Quick Look Into Internet, Mobile, E-Commerce’, viewed 6 August 2014, <>

EFF, 2013, ‘Fair Use Principles for User Generated Video Content’, viewed 6 August 2014, <>

Ellis H, The Verge, ‘Indie smash hit ‘Flappy Bird’ racks up $50K per day in ad revenue’, viewed 6 August 2014 , <>

Gamesbeat , 2014, ‘9 reasons why Flappy Bird has become the latest viral gaming hit’, viewed 6 August 2014 , <>

Palfrey, J., Gasser, U., Simun, M., & Barnes, R. F. , 2009. ,Youth, creativity, and copyright in the digital age . 79-97