30 Jul 2020

Samoa Ombudsman warns over proposed Facebook ban

3:37 pm on 30 July 2020

Samoa's Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, has warned that banning Facebook in Samoa would affect freedom of speech guarantees in the Constitution.

The Samoa Observer reports the Office of the Ombudsman issued a statement saying the move, suggested by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi would

curtail freedom of speech and deprive Samoans of their fundamental entitlements.

Tuilaepa called for the ban earlier this month, saying Facebook has "too many faceless people spreading lies and defaming people".

Maiava also warned users of social media saying the whole of society needed to take responsibility for tackling hate speech propagated online.

He also pointed out that freedom of speech doesn't mean people having the right to say whatever they like.

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