HANOI (Reuters) – as the Independent’s online air quality index monitor AirVisual said on Wednesday that the monitoring of the quality of the air app is also available for download, again in Vietnam, after the suspension, in the face of a barrage of criticism from social media users.
A AirVisual monitoring station, manufactured by the Swiss company IQair is seen by the West Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam, October 9, 2019. REUTERS/James Pearson
AirVisual, which measures the quality of the air on the basis of the information that it receives from the monitoring stations, was accused by critics of exaggerating the pollution in the Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi in order to boost sales of air purifiers made by the parent company.
AirVisual said on Monday it had received abusive and threatening messages on the Facebook page, and elsewhere, in an attempt to discredit it after its found, Hanoi topped the list with 90 major towns and cities suffer from air pollution.
A spokesman for the company told Reuters it had temporarily suspended the” new downloads of the app after the criticism, but it will be available on Wednesday.
“The efforts made for the suppression and air pollution data in place of the address of the sources that have created the problem, are misguided and have negative health and environmental implications,” AirVisual said in a statement.
“While the attacks have decreased, they are still on-going. We are closely monitoring the situation, and the goal is to continue to provide reliable service.
The contamination may be a source of political tension in Vietnam, in the protest against the destruction of the environment, may have occurred in the last couple of years.
The air pollution in Hanoi and other big cities in the South-east Asian nation has hit dangerous levels recently, with the government’s Environmental Authorities last week, warning people to limit outdoor activity.
The criticism of the AirVisual occurred after a Vietnamese Facebook user, Vu Khac Ngoc, an online physics teacher with almost 350,000 followers on the site, he said in a post that AirVisual was in the process of manipulating the data, sell the air purifiers made by its parent company, IQair.
AirVisual rejected the accusation saying it had been accepted all over the world for the publication of objective data on air quality.
Ngoc offered no evidence to support his claim, he said it would harm tourism to Vietnam, and on Wednesday issued an apology for the app developers.
“I regret to say that the negative reviews are from AirVisual to have been influenced, and impeded the working of the app is in viet nam,” Ngoc said.
AirVisual said on the list of 90 cities and towns, it was “live”, updated several times per hour.
“That’s why, when a city is at the top of the list, this is not to say that the city has the worst air quality in the world, ever, has the worst air quality in the era of the 90’s, ranked towns and cities,” the spokesman said.
Reporting Khanh Vu, and James Pearson; Editing by Robert Birsel