The Ministry of Information and Communication ordered a news website to shut down for three months on Friday for running a story describing the women of Vietnam's Mekong Delta as “delicious, obedient and foolish."
Ministry officials also fined Tri Thuc Tre (http://ttvn.vn), a website attached to the Vietnam Association of Young Scientists & Engineers , VND201 million (US$9,500).
The ministry said it would consider allowing it to resume operations after the conclusion of the three-month suspension.
On August 14, a deputy minister called an emergency meeting to resolve the story, titled Western Girls and the Three Famous Ns, posted on the news website two days before.
The author claimed to be a well-experienced northerner and made rude remarks about the typical characteristics of women from the Mekong Delta, commonly referred as the West of southern Vietnam.
The three "N"s referred to: “ngon” (delicious), “ngoan” (obedient) and “ngu” (foolish).
The remarks created a wave of indignation among online readers.
A reader named Le Binh left his comment just below the story, saying that the writer was the last “N” (foolish), adding that the site's editorial staff must have been deranged to publish such a poisonous story.