30 Jul 2019

Bullying tops Fiji online complaints

12:50 pm on 30 July 2019

Online bullying has topped the complaints received by the Fiji Online Commission.

Teenage Girl At Home Using Digital Tablet Being Bullied On Line

Photo: 123rf

Commissioner Anne Dunn Baleilevuka said 70 percent of the complaints and reports received in the last six months have come from women and girls.

She said there had been complaints relating to defamation and they have had to deal with these on a case-by-case basis.

Ms Baleilevuka said Fiji still has a Defamation Act which allows Fijians to file civil suits and it is separate to the Online Safety Act.

Ms Baleilevuka said some defamation cases were not handled by the commission and these were instead referred to other law enforcement agencies.

Meanwhile, lawyer and socialite Jon Apted said more than half of Fiji's population - 500,000 - use Facebook.

He told a commerce and employers executives' conference last weekend that Fijians are no longer immune to the challenges of social media.

Mr Apted said previously, institutions like political parties, mainstream media, businesses and governments were at the centre and the people were at the periphery and treated as passive.

But social media has changed all that, he said.

"Now individuals are at the centre and the institutions are at the periphery competing for individual attention."