Blogging three ways in Vietnam’s political blogosphere

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Journal Article
Contemporary Southeast Asia, 2017, 39 (2), pp. 373 - 392
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© 2017 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. This article discusses the dynamism of Vietnam’s social media landscape by identifying three kinds of blogging and the different political views espoused by Vietnamese bloggers. This classification is based on a thematic analysis of blog postings, media discussions and semi-structured interviews conducted in 2013–15. The author’s mapping of Vietnam’s blogosphere demonstrates four features: first, the growth of political blogs; second, how the blogosphere has become an arena for competing political ideologies; third, the utilization of blogs by various factions within the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) to serve their own interests; and fourth, blogs as an important source of independent news and information. Understanding political blogs in Vietnam today helps us understand how Vietnamese bloggers maximize online freedom of speech, the zigzagging attitude of the CPV in managing the Internet in an attempt to reinforce its legitimacy and the challenges blogs pose to the state-run media’s monopoly in the digital age.
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