Facebook ‘censorship’ looms in Solomon Island

SOLOMON STAR – 04 April 2021

Government will soon monitor ‘fake’ FB users

The Ministry for Communication and Aviation will soon closely monitor fake Facebook account users in Solomon Islands, as soon as the formal arrangement with Facebook Company is set.

This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary (PS) for Communication and Aviation, Moses Virivolomo when his team appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week.

Opposition Leader Mathew Wale was seeking clarification from the PS concerning the Facebook ban which was previously raised by the Minister last year.

As understood that the Minister and the Government decided to temporarily suspend access to Facebook in the country while policy and lawmakers explore ways to regulate its use. 

This is important so that individuals can be held accountable for what they say on the social media platform – Facebook.

Wale also asked if the Government has the technical ability to carry out their plans concerning Facebook.

Virivolomo admitted that at the moment they do not have the capacity to ban Facebook in terms of our technical capacity.

In response, Virivolomo told PAC that his ministry has received the green light from the Cabinet to pursue the issue with Facebook Company.

“We have a number of exchanges with Facebook Company discussing how Facebook users in the Solomon Islands continue to threaten the morals of society here.

“We also discussed if Facebook can assist our ministry to monitored fake accounts users in our country,” he said.

He further added that Facebook Company has its own policies to deal with monitoring fake accounts but they are willing to assist if we also have our own policy on monitoring fake accounts.

Virivolomo also said that Facebook Company is willing to assist us in terms of training on how to manage and monitor Facebook fake account users.

“To make it clear the monitoring team can only block or take down Facebook fake account users in the country only if we supply the information and directives to Facebook Headquarter,” Virivolomo said.

He added that the SIM Card registration Bill and Cyber Crime legislation are two very important documents that will help his ministry to monitor and track those who abuse social media to disunite the country.

“We are currently working on them and hope to table it in the parliament very soon,” he added.

Newsroom Honiara


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