The government in Papua New Guinea has decided to ban Facebook for a month. The move comes in a bid to study the effects of social media on the people of the small island nation. In addition to the study, fake users will also be targeted and eliminated from the social platform.
Papua New Guinea’s communication minister, Sam Basil, said:
“The time will allow information to be collected to identify users that hide behind fake accounts, users that upload pornographic images, users that post false and misleading information on Facebook to be filtered and removed.”
With recent scandals like the Cambridge Analytica Facebook data leak still fresh in people’s minds, Basil says that the country is acting with its citizens’ best interests at heart. There are also plans for a local social network being set up on the island, but Basil says the government will wait until the results of this study are known before action is taken.
This isn’t the first time a country has temporarily banned Facebook. Sri Lanka did the same at the beginning of the year to prevent the spread of racial hatred. Banning Facebook is no doubt a controversial option but with the social network getting in trouble in Myanmar recently for helping incite racial violence, it is clear Facebook isn’t doing enough to meet its global responsibilities.
What do you think? How would you feel if Facebook was banned in your country?