Facebook removes Paracel, Spratly Islands from China’s map at Vietnam’s request


Social network giant Facebook has complied with a request by the Vietnamese government regarding a wrongful depiction of its sovereignty.

As of Monday afternoon, a map used for Facebook’s advertising tool was found to have completely removed Paracel (Hoang Sa) and Spratly (Truong Sa) Islands in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.

Previously, the map wrongfully depicted the islands, which are under Vietnam’s sovereignty, as part of China.

The adjustment was made after Vietnamese information authorities on Sunday issued a request for Facebook to take immediate actions to correct the map’s misinformation regarding the islands’ sovereignty.

Vietnam’s Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information under the Ministry of Information and Communications has confirmed that Facebook had complied with its request in a timely manner.

However Doan Cong Huynh, head of the ministry’s Department of Foreign Information Services, said that Facebook would still need to issue an official apology and a statement regarding the correction so that China would not be able to use the incorrect map to back its claim over the islands.

The map’s wrongful depiction of Paracel and Sprarly Islands as part of China has reportedly outraged many people in Vietnam, where Facebook is the most popular network with more than 58 million active accounts.