Papua New Guinea to block access to Facebook for one month

The government of Papua New Guinea has decided to block Facebook for one month in an effort to counter ‘fake users’ and study the social effects of the social media platform. During the month, researchers will identify and remove users behind fake accounts and those posting pornographic images or misleading information. According to communication minister Sam Basil, ‘This will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly’. The government estimates that 600-700,000 citizens use Facebook, which is less than one-tenth of the country’s population. The measure has drawn criticism, one member of the opposition claiming that ‘the government’s intent is to prosecute those that have been aggressively critical of their policies and be able to monitor and establish who are those that are driving this public discontent.’