• Vikram Kamboj

Why Solomon Islands is banning Facebook

Solomon Islands is set to become the fifth country in the world to ban Facebook, due to the "controversial issues" raised via the platform.

"Abusive language against ministers, the Prime Minister, character assassination, defamation of character, all these are issues of concern," explained Civil Aviation Minister, Peter Shanel Agovaka. "The use of the Internet now in Solomon Islands needs to be properly regulated to safeguard our young people from harmful content."

Freedom of the press 'to remain'

Agovaka said media will continue to operate as normal, and freedom of the press will remain. But some anticipate that the ban will adversely affect media revenue, as most media organisations use Facebook to drive traffic to their sites.

Daniel Suidani, premier of Malaita Province, also criticised the Government, saying the ban wasn't an appropriate response to citizens' frustration.

"It should be plain and clear to the national government and the cabinet that complaints seen on Facebook are a reflection of people's frustration towards the government. It is simple that one cannot be his own judge," said Suidani.

Only four countries have banned Facebook to date, namely North Korea, China, Iran and And Solomon Islands isn't the only Pacific country looking at banning the platform. Samoa, Papua Guinea and Tonga have all recently considered a ban.