Papua New Guinea may temporarily ban Facebook to curb fake profiles

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 30, 2018, 12:14 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

The Papua New Guinea government may temporarily ban social media giant Facebook in order to carry out a research to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the use of Facebook and vulnerabilities linked to personal data use and cybercrime. 

The information gathered from the study will then be used to curb the fake profile and fake news floating on the site.

Communications Minister Sam Basil has suggested banning Facebook for one month which will give the government time to gather information on fake accounts and users who uploads pornography and defamatory information in order to remove it from the platform.

He also proposed the idea to replace Facebook with a locally developed social media site. 

"This will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly,"  news agency quoted Basil as saying.

"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 abroad as well," Basil added,

However, no time has been fixed at for the potential ban on Facebook. But reports say that the ban might come into effect during the time when Papua New Guinea is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit later this year. The summit is expected to be attended by the United States president Donald Trump.

Mark Zuckerberg owned Facebook is under fire from past few months after a whistleblower revealed that UK based data mining firm Cambridge Analytica gathered data from illegal measures.

It has faced a lot of criticism after it was revealed that over 80 million users' information was compromised during the Cambridge Analytica row.

AFP reported a spokesperson of Facebook is saying that it has reached the Papua New Guinea authorities and is addressing the concerns.

The decision of temporarily banning the Facebook has however been ridiculed by Papua New Guinea media as the time of the ban may coincide with APEC summit.

PNG Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker was quoted as saying by AFP, "The APEC meeting is all about promoting the digital era to assist business, develop economies, and improve citizen welfare in member countries." 

Media has said that it restricts the freedom of speech in the country as the Platform is widely used to discuss politics.

(With inputs from AFP)

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