Papua New Guinea to ban Facebook for a month

Soccer fans use phones

Soccer fans use phones

"We can not allow the abuse of Facebook to continue in the country", Basil declared.

By blocking access to Facebook, the government will also be able to assess if the country is better off with or without it, Basil added.

The government of PNG says it is shutting off the country's access for one month, Papua New Guinea's Post-Courier reports. The government said it plans to use this time to research how its citizens are using Facebook as well as how fake news spreads on the platform. However, that may not be an accurate measure of how numerous country's eight million population use the social network since mobile is the primary access point in many parts of Asia Pacific. He also suggested the possibility of creating a homegrown equivalent that would require genuine profiles.

"I will now work closely with the Police for them to be properly trained and informed to fully enforce the Cyber Crime Act".

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg endured rounds of grilling by dozens of United States lawmakers last month, during which he repeatedly apologised and promised changes to privacy policies after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. His directive was issued in the wake of the US Senate Hearings into Facebook, and would cover "the advantages and disadvantages of use of Facebook, the vulnerabilities that include not just the protection of personal data, but wider social issues like security and safety of users, the time-consumption and productivity of users - especially school-aged children and employees - and of course the wider issue of cybersecurity and cybercrime". "If there need be then we can gather our local applications developers to create a site that is more conducive for Papua New Guineans to communicate within the country and overseas as well".

"It would be a travesty if PNG sought to close down Facebook during the APEC month, making PNG seem rather foolish".

An investigation was being considered as a way to analyse whether there was a positive impact on the people of PNG.

Facebook is widely used in PNG to discuss politics and expose corruption and MPs and officials have shown a high degree of sensitivity to posts in the past, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, one of the few foreign media groups based in the country.

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