Facebook is being banned in Papau New Guinea for a month so that the country can research the effect of social media on its population and also identify and close fake accounts. The country’s communication minister Sam Basil stated that a month’s ban will allow the filtration of pornography and fake accounts from the website.
Sam Basil added that this time is convenient for the collection of information especially for those operate fake accounts, people who post fake news, and those who upload pornographic content on Facebook. Sam reported to the Post Courier newspaper about this development because it was going to allow for genuine identification of Facebook account holders to use the social network in a responsible way.
This news has come right after Facebook’s grilling and criticism from lawmakers and users all over the world over its user data handling, adding to the revelation of Cambridge Analytics usage of 87 million unauthorized data from American Facebook users.
Facebook has also been on the radar on the ongoing investigation of how Russia meddled into the U.S Presidential elections that happened in 2016. Facebook deleted so many Russian linked accounts which are said to have been used to create divisions among the citizens of U.S before the election through ad buys that were targeted, controversial posts and through events.
According to Sam Basil, these cases that hang over Facebook show the vulnerabilities that citizens of Papau New Guinea have on their information on Facebook. Basil went ahead to suggest that Papau New Guinea is going to create its unique social networking site which their citizens are going to use.
According to a digital media expert based at the University of Sydney, Aim Sinpeng stated that the vast majority of New Guineans are not on Facebook, and a ban will not affect its population. Aim Sinpeng never understood the reasoning behind the ban, because the government can go ahead and do a research on fake accounts, filter them and close the fake accounts without creating a limit on user access to Facebook.
Sinpeng is not sure what is going to be achieved by a one month ban and why it is even necessary in the first place; as a Facebook analysis can still be done without a ban.