Papua New Guinea To Ban Facebook

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Port Moresby: Papua New Guinea will ban Facebook for a month while the government identifies fake accounts and attempts to block fake news.

Communications Minister Sam Basil said on Wednesday the one-month shutdown would “allow information to be collected” about people using the social media site for nefarious purposes.

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Users who upload pornography and defamatory information will be identified and removed from the networking site, he said. “This will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly,” said Basil.

He also said tech experts in Papua New Guinea (PNG) could develop a local alternative to Facebook. “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 was quoted as saying by local media.

No timeframe was given on the shutdown, although some reports suggested it could coincide with Port Moresby hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit later this year.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg grilled by EU Parliament over data scandal. A spokesperson for Facebook told AFP news agency the US company had reached out to PNG authorities and were “working to address their concerns”.