Risk of disputes from transactions through social networks in Vietnam

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Social networks have become popular and become an indispensable part of modern life. Along with the development of the internet, social networking applications are also used by many people as a transaction method to exchange and conclude contracts or business transaction with each other.   When a dispute occurs, it is difficult for the parties to prove the transactions and the parties involved. Hence, it is important to conduct background check on the business counterparts from financial, operational aspects instead of blind belief in the exaggerated advertising or discounted offer from them.

In fact, many individuals and organizations have reported that their partners have denied purchase and sale transactions through social networks and caused huge damages. However, the evidence provided is only messages, icons … stored in social networking applications that carry many meanings and are easily confused in interpretation. These are quite common electronic transaction disputes today, but there is no strict legal corridor to protect parties with legitimate interests.

The legal system has not kept up with the strong development of the internet business. As a result, it raises a number of complicated issues, beyond the control of legal regulators and creates many difficulties and challenges when business disputes occur over social networks.

Specifically, many individuals engage in commercial activities but does not have a fixed location and do not register business with any authorities.  They might advertise over the internet with buying and selling goods and services without having to be responsible for any consequences for fake products or inadequate delivery of quantity or maybe even scam.

It can be seen that the lack of business registration makes it difficult to determine the truthfulness of the transaction and the competent authorities do not know the information of individuals and organizations transacting on social networks authentication of transaction status on social networks when participating in business.

According to the law, electronic data messages are expressed in the form of electronic data exchange, email and other similar forms according to the provisions of the law on electronic transactions. Electronic is also a source of evidence used as a basis to determine the validity of a transaction. Therefore, it can be seen that in fact transactions via social networks are also a form of electronic transactions with legal value. However, these transactions present a lot of potential risks because it is difficult to prove to the authorities when dispute arise.

Because these accounts can be easily disabled, communications can be deleted or hidden, and the name of the account holder is easy to change. Moreover, when transacting and exchanging via social networks, the parties cannot control whether the person being exchanged is an authorized person or not. The violating party will rely on the above reasons to deny all the content discussed with the partner.

Transactions through social network platform are thriving and are expected to bring value. However, in order to contribute to promoting the sustainable and safe development of this type of business, more legal regulations governing related issues are needed. In addition, in order to limit disputes and risks in these transactions, individuals and businesses need to carefully check the partner information, from authenticity, adverse media, reputation online or engage third party consulting company to verify business registration, search business shareholders information, visit office or operation site for audit, undertake background check, criminal record for protection of interest if the dispute occurs.

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