"The protest sparked a healthy debate about freedom of expression in Vietnam," Khoi says to The Economist. It also underscored the difficulties ahead for the Vietnamese in embracing new rights.
"What surprised me most was the extent to which people in Vietnam have authoritarian ways of thinking," Khoi says to The Economist.
Khoi's life has changed dramatically since becoming an activist. After returning from a tour in Europe last March, she was detained in the Hanoi airport for eight hours.
The detainment saddened Khoi. She felt ill thinking of the system that would allow her to be detained. It was a reminder that the people of Vietnam "are so weak we can't do anything to fight for our right," she tells CNBC Make It.
Since becoming a focal point of the authoritarian regime in Vietnam, Khoi has not been able to earn a living, she says. Fans send her money, in part, through a "donate" page on her personal website to help her meet basic needs and support her activism.
Those fans have also changed as she's become more politically active. She says many Vietnamese are too fearful to support a dissident.
But she has new fans, she says, people with open minds and passionate hearts. "They can see what happened in Vietnam and they understand why I'm standing up for human rights," she says.
Currently, Khoi is working on a graphic novel and video art to raise awareness for the lack of human rights in Vietnam. She's also taking on yet another behemoth: Facebook.
Facebook had an essential role in fueling expression in Vietnam and the service helped her spread the word about her nomination to the National Assembly and even to her meeting with Barack Obama. However, she says in an op-ed for the Washington Post, the site has no independent oversight in Vietnam leading to locked accounts, silenced journalists and and paid accounts sowing division.
Khoi demands change: "Facebook has been a huge force for freedom in Vietnam, but this positive effect is now being reversed as the social media platform is delivered to authoritarianism. I hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable for this," she writes.
Facebook had not yet responded to an email sent Thursday by CNBC Make It seeking response to the letter from Khoi when this story was published.