Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Papua New Guinea is reportedly blocking Facebook for a full month

Rohingya Refugees Myanmar Rohingya refugees after leaving Myanmar for Bangladesh last year.. REUTERS Jorge Silva
Patty Aguilar | 30 May, 2018, 16:16

That's exactly the approach that Papua New Guinea, the Pacific sea island nation located near Australia, is proposing to take with a new measure that could see the social network closed off for a month.

During the Facebook downtime it hopes to identify users that upload pornographic images and post false and misleading information on the site, and then use that information to filter and remove those users from Facebook, The Guardian reports.

"The Act has already been passed, so what I'm trying to do is to ensure the law is enforced accordingly where perpetrators can be identified and charged accordingly".

Basil went on to say that the inquiry may well find that Papua New Guinea's peoples may be better served by an alternative social network.

Facebook is fighting a battle against the spread of fake news, including the use of false profiles to boost and share misinformation. We can not allow the abuse of Facebook to continue in the country.

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In Tuesday's interview, Basil also indicated that the government would explore the possibility of launching its own social network exclusively for Papua New Guinea citizens.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where it was revealed that the personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users had been leaked to a private company, Papua New Guinea's communication minister Sam Basil has expressed concerns about the social media giant.

"The national government, swept along by IT globalisation, never really had the chance to ascertain the advantages or disadvantages [of Facebook] - and even educate and provide guidance on use of social networks like Facebook to PNG users", said Basil last month. "The social network has deleted hundreds of Russia-linked accounts that it says were used to sow divisions in the US ahead of the election through organizing events, controversial posts and target ad buys".

Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergTrump Jr.: Instagram warning says my name encourages harmful behavior Firms quick to adopt European Union data regs will have first-mover advantage Obama calls for tighter regulations on tech MORE testified to Congress last month about the controversy.

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