WARNING! Banning Facebook in Papua New Guinea is a bad move

Facebook banBanning Facebook for 12 months or any ban at all is a bad move.

The reason why politicians are afraid  of  Facebook is because it has done more in the last 10 years  to hold them to  account than mainstream media outlets.   Facebook  has become the most important tool that provides the verification for so called infrastructure projects that  MPs claim have been completed but have not.

Facebook has been used to hold the former Health Minister Puka Temu to account for the medicine shortages in the country. It has been used to correct misconceptions that TFF money has been going to schools. Teachers from remote schools who have not been paid for months sent  their details using the social media network  for verification.

With crowdsourced information from Facebook, Papua New Guineans have been able to see the problems in health, education and the economy.  Dr. Sam Yokopua, Dr. Glen Mola, two of the most senior doctors in the country use Facebook to highlight the most critical shortages affecting Port Moresby General Hospital.

Is it fake news?  No.

In case you have not noticed,  thousands of Papua New Guineans use Facebook for business transactions.  That’s where they make their money from.  Large businesses use Facebook as a way to reach out to their customers.

How do you plan to compensate for the 12 month disconnection with their  customer base?

Banning Facebook, will be a huge embarrassment for the country that hosted APEC. The high ideals  of  “Digital connectivity” and “Digital inclusiveness”  will be thrown out of  the window.

A lot of governments want to ban Facebook. But it really has not worked.  China, North Korea, Iran are among the list. While Iran has a ban on Facebook,  people, including the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani,  uses Twitter as an alternative.  Point is, you can’t get away from social media.

There is a general agreement that there are a lot of  people who use Facebook  to spread fake news.  They should be investigated and prosecuted using the cybercrime act  if law enforcement has the capacity to do it.

But to ban Facebook has wide-ranging implications including direct government interference on the freedom of speech of Papua New Guineans and their right to hold their leaders to account.

The best thing  to do is:

  1. Do the right thing by the people
  2. Be transparent. If there is a problem acknowledge it, fix it and correct misinformation.
  3. Be truthful. You can’t go wrong in the age of social media.

4 comments on “WARNING! Banning Facebook in Papua New Guinea is a bad move

  1. Very well said and agree on prosecuting those who misuse this service instead of this blanket ban that will affect thousands who will never be compensated for losses sustained.

    This kind of mentality belongs to a world that is, bluntly, primitive. This mentality where leaders, chiefs, senior officials feel that people should not question their decisions. Or people should not know about their dealings of funds or favors . These senior statesman know that they are wrong and now the whole country is aware of their doings. So they are now branded as cheats, robbers, etc in social media. These seniors want to continue to steal and defraud but social media is keeping the spot light on them and indirectly minimizing their corrupt dealings.

    You politicians should first and foremost know that you are servants of the people. The people are the leaders, you should be following your leaders who is the people. You are merely a footbridge for the people to progress from their shortcomings to the better life supported by a rich government.

    Social media is the tool to keep you politicians on track. Noken stopim FB and other social media sites.


  2. Pingback: Premier Papui-Nowej Gwinei chce uregulowania mediów społecznościowych, powołując się na chęć zwalczenia “fałszywych informacji” · Global Voices po polsku

  3. Pingback: Il primo ministro della Papua Nuova Guinea sollecita la proposta per regolare i social media e fermare le ‘fake news’ · Global Voices in Italiano

  4. Pingback: Papua New Guinea PM pushes proposal for social media regulation, citing need to stop 'fake news' - Global Voices Advox

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