Solomon Times, the daily newspaper for the Solomon Islands, claims the chain of islands in Oceania might join the ranks of North Korea, Iran, and China by becoming the most recent country in the world to ban Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, used by 2.6 billion people in 190 countries.
The submission for the ban, which was agreed on by the Cabinet on Tuesday but has not come into effect yet, was brought forward by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Communication Minister Peter Shanel Agovaka. They cited a need for stricter cybercrime legislation and regulation.
Agovaka told the Solomon Times that the ban is needed because there are no laws or regulations on Facebook.
“The use of the internet now in Solomon Islands needs to be properly regulated to safeguard our young people from harmful content. At the moment there is no legislation to govern the use of the internet and even young adults can be able to download harmful stuff from the internet,” he said.
Agovaka said the ban is in response to online attacks on members of government, citing the “abusive language against ministers and the Prime Minister” and “defamation of character” found on the platform.
The only countries in the world to already have a direct ban on Facebook are China and Iran, while the internet in general is heavily restricted in North Korea, with few people having direct access. Just yesterday, Vietnam threatened to shut down Facebook if it does not bow to government pressure to censor more local political content on its platform, reported Reuters.
Read more: The Diplomat