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Papua New Guinea set to ban Facebook for a month.

PICTURE: World Atlas

The Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia.

Papua New Guinea will ban Facebook for a month while it identifies fake profiles and considers the website’s effect on the country.

He also suggested the country could set up its own rival social network. Communication minister Sam Basil said users posting pornography and false information would be identified.

Although only about 10% of people in Papua New Guinea have internet access, the country is proving proactive in its regulation of online services. The government aims to use the month-long ban to analyse how Facebook is being used and prosecute those breaching the country’s 2016 cyber-crime law.

The rise of so-called “fake news” has become a major problem for technology companies globally. They have been criticised for not warning users when information could be incorrect or misleading.

“If need be then we can gather our local applications developers to create a site that is more conducive for Papua New Guineans to communicate within the country and abroad as well,” he said.

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