World News

Facebook Looking At Possible 1-Month Ban in Papua New Guinea

Facebook Looking At Possible 1-Month Ban in Papua New Guinea

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.

Critics are concerned about why the government thinks a Facebook ban is necessary to do its research.

PNG Communications Minister Sam Basil told the Post-Courier that the Communications and Information Technology Department would be looking to filter out and remove "fake users, users that post pornographic images, [and] users that post false and misleading information": "This will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly".

"The two cases involving Facebook show us the vulnerabilities that Papua New Guinean citizens and residents on their personal data and exchanges when using this social network", Basil said last month.

As a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal Facebook has come under increased scrutiny, particularly how it deals with fake news.

Facebook, which has more than 2 billion users, is facing mounting pressure from sceptical governments around the globe.

More news: Italian political crisis causes jitters in financial markets

"The APEC meeting is all about promoting the digital era to assist business, develop economies, and improve citizen welfare in member countries", he told the PNG Post Courier newspaper Wednesday.

The recent hearings in Europe and the United States also reflect a growing unease with Facebook's dominant position in the marketplace, with lawmakers pressing Zuckerberg to identify which companies closely compete with his.

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. Minister Sam Basil said that the shutdown would enable the department and PNG National Research Institute to conduct further research on how the social network was being used by users.

The move comes despite the fact that less than 10 percent of Papua New Guinea's 8-million-strong population have ready access to the internet, according to the World Bank.

Earlier this year, officials in Sri Lanka imposed a week-long ban on the social networking site.

Similarly, the New Zealand government had also kicked off an investigation, finding preliminarily that Facebook was subject to the country's Privacy Act and had fundamentally failed to engage with it.


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