16 Jul 2020

Samoa govt looking to ban Facebook

9:26 am on 16 July 2020

The Samoan government is looking seriously at banning Facebook in the country.

A report by TV1Samoa details Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi saying that many people had complained about the popular social media platform and how it was being used to hurt people.

"I am thinking about this a lot especially how it is being used to make defamatory statements about others," he said.

Tuilaepa himself has been a victim of personal attacks on Facebook, and had even taken some bloggers to court for defamation.

He cited a recent example of the prominent Samoan blogger known as King Faipopo who admitted in court that his statements were fabricated to make people hate the Prime Minister and turn them off the government.

"This is being used by people who play what I call dirty politics," Tuilaepa explained.

Samoa is not the first Pacific government that has been critical of social media. In 2018 Papua New Guinea's government sought to ban Facebook for a month while it looked at how it was being used in the country.

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Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins