Hanoi temporarily closes online poll on loudspeakers

The online poll on loudspeakers that Hanoi’s Department of Information and Communication started on January 25 has been temporarily closed since Tuesday afternoon.

Tied to poles or streetlights at a height, loudspeakers, or loa phuong in Vietnamese, are used to provide local people with news, songs and information at dawn and dusk. The concept is said to have originated in the 1970s during the American War when they would be used to raise an alarm before the bombing raids. — VNA/VNS Photo

The poll, on the continued use of loudspeakers, a public address system that was widely used when the country was at war, is supposed to close on March 10.

Phan Lan Tu, head of the department, said the move was made after a sudden, sharp increase in responses was observed on Monday. Most of these responses – all of them said loudspeakers were necessary – were found to have originated from four IP addresses.

“From Monday morning to 11.25am, the responses increased from 3,000 to 178,000, and 48 per cent of the total responses said it was necessary to continue using loudspeakers. Before Monday, about 80 per cent of the responses said loudspeakers were unnecessary,” Tu said.

Tu dismissed the possibility that the system had been hacked and said it was because of an error in the system.

The temporary closure was needed to maintain the objectiveness of the poll results, Tu told vietnamnet.vn online newspaper.

She said the online poll would be up and running by Wednesday afternoon at https://hanoi.gov.vn/tham-do-y-kien. However, it was not accessible by this time.

People can also email their response to pbcxbtt_sotttt@hanoi.gov.vn. The information department will report its results to Hanoi People’s Committee.

Tied to poles or streetlights at a height, loudspeakers, or loa phuong in Vietnamese, are used to provide local people with news, songs and information at dawn and dusk. The concept is said to have originated in the 1970s during the American War when they would be used to raise an alarm before the bombing raids.

Earlier this year, Hanoi People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung asked concerned agencies to assess the necessity of using loudspeakers in all the communes and wards. The city has 584 commune-level administrative units, including 386 communes, 177 wards and 21 towns. Loudspeakers cost each unit a few hundred million Vietnamese dong annually.

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