Facebook set for month-long ban Papua New Guinea to deal with fake news and profiles

Tyrone Stewart

Facebook landing pageSouthwestern Pacific country Papua New Guinea will ban access to Facebook in the country while it conducts research into fake accounts and how they the platform is being used.

The period of time will enable the nation’s Communications and Information Technology Department to identify people that are using fake accounts, those that upload pornographic images, and those that post fake news.

“The time will allow information to be collected to identify users that hide behind fake accounts, users that upload pornographic images, users that post false and misleading information on Facebook to be filtered and removed,” Sam Basil, Papua New Guinea’s Communications Minister, told the country’s Post-Courier.

“This will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly.”

It’s also reported that the country may look to create its own social network, in order to ensure the use of real profiles and provide a better platform for the people of Papua New Guinea to communicate.

The decision is an interesting one, seeing as only about 12 per cent of Papua New Guinea’s around 8m population has access to the internet. Nonetheless, it’s an example of a nation being proactive about ensuring the safety of its citizens online – something that many larger nations are scrambling to do also.