Solomon Islands withdraws threat of Facebook ban

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Facebook logo is shown on a smartphone in this illustration

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Solomon Islands will not go ahead with a planned ban on the use of Facebook and will instead work with the platform to address concerns about inflammatory criticism of the government issued on it in recent months, local media reported. Wednesday. Solomon’s Communication Minister Peter Shanel Agovaka, who had been one of the main supporters of the ban, told Solomon Business (SBM) magazine that “Facebook will not be suspended.” He had previously blamed “abusive language” and “character assassination” of government ministers, including the prime minister, who were brought to the platform for the planned ban. Representatives for the Solomon Islands and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The government had been criticized on social media for the distribution of economic stimulus funds amid the coronavirus pandemic and the impact of the Pacific nation’s decision to switch diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China. Agovaka also told the publication that the country was working on new telecommunications laws to register all mobile SIMs, and that after discussions with Facebook’s office in the Pacific, the government hoped to reveal details on how its concerns would be addressed. Facebook is a very popular discussion forum in the Solomon Islands, with a population of around 650,000 people spread over a large archipelago. The government also uses Facebook to broadcast the prime minister’s speeches and to disseminate health information during the pandemic.

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