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Vietnamese pair jailed for Facebook posts on deadly land dispute clash

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Vietnamese pair jailed for Facebook posts on deadly land dispute clash


Vietnamese activist Nguyen Thi Tam has been jailed for six years – Copyright Vietnam News Agency/AFP STR

A Hanoi court on Wednesday ordered the jailing of two activists who posted on Facebook about a land dispute clash that left four people dead on the outskirts of Vietnam’s capital last year.

Vietnam’s government takes a zero-tolerance approach to criticism on social media.

Trinh Ba Phuong was sentenced to 10 years and Nguyen Thi Tam to six years for “making, storing, distributing or propagating information and documents aimed at opposing the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”.

Three police officers and a resident were killed during a clash at Dong Tam commune in January 2020 after officials attempted to erect a fence and were met by villagers armed with “grenades, petrol bombs and knives”.

Villagers had been resisting the military’s attempts to build an airport on their land.

Phuong and Tam’s content “distorted and fabricated the situation taking place in Dong Tam commune, defamed the people’s government, incited people to oppose the authorities”, according to state-controlled Vietnam News Agency.

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Phuong’s mother and younger brother were sentenced to eight years in jail in May, also for posting online about the incident.

Their court appeal is scheduled for this month.

In September last year, a Hanoi court sentenced two men to death for the murder of the three police officers — and 27 others were convicted over the incident.

Land disputes are common in Vietnam, where powerful individuals and companies often make property claims.

Phuong and Tam’s sentencing comes a day after a prominent dissident journalist was jailed for nine years.

The United States and British governments condemned the conviction of Pham Doan Trang — a campaigner for press freedom and civil rights — and called for her release.

“The United States calls on the Vietnamese government to release  Trang…  and to allow all individuals in Vietnam to express their views freely and  without fear of retaliation,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

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Pinterest Launches Pin Ads in Argentina, Colombia and Chile

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Pinterest Launches Pin Ads in Argentina, Colombia and Chile

As it continues to expand its ad offering, in order to maximize its business opportunities, Pinterest has today announced that Pin Ads will now be made available to all businesses in Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

As explained by Pinterest:

“Businesses of all sizes now have access to multiple types of ad formats and targeting options in Argentina, Colombia and Chile, to reach new audiences with meaningful, useful content as they discover ideas and plan new projects.”

Pinterest says that it recently launched its first ads with a small group of early partner brands in these regions, including Tiendas Paris and Publicis Groupe, which has paved the way for today’s full market expansion.

The announcement is the latest in Pinterest’s growing Latin American business push, with Pinterest Ads also made available in Brazil and Mexico last year. The app reaches around 80 million active users per month in the region – over 18% of its total user base – which represents significant opportunity, and highlights the expansion potential that Pinterest still has in this respect.

Further to this, Pinterest also launched ads in Japan just last month, enabling businesses to reach another 8.7 million active Pinners.

It’s somewhat surprising to consider the extended reach that Pinterest is still yet to achieve with its ads business, and how that could translate to more revenue for the company – and with the platform also warning of ongoing revenue pressures throughout 2022, and its overall user base in flux to some degree, it needs to tap into these expanded markets to boost its potential and showcases its value to investors.

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Maybe that will be the remit of incoming Pin CEO Bill Ready, who took over from Ben Silbermann last week. The platform has been on a roller coaster ride throughout the pandemic, with usage reaching new highs, then normalizing once again, which has left many unsure what the future holds for the app. Ready, a former Google commerce chief, will now be tasked with stabilizing the ship, and maximizing performance – and you would assume that this would include a significant expansion of its ad business to facilitate more opportunity.

In selling its new Latin American expansion, Pinterest also reiterates that 97% of the top searches in the app are unbranded, and consist of 2-3 word queries, which makes Pinterest an effective tool to reach people while they’re still considering their next purchase.

“Pinterest is one of the rare platforms where it is truly possible for brands to engage with new customers who are intentional, open and making buying decisions.”

There is opportunity in Pins, for sure, and the addition of a Google insider should help to advance its discovery ambitions in this respect.

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