BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
PRIME minister Manasseh Sogavare has elaborated in parliament his decision, backed by cabinet, to ban facebook.
“Facebook needs to be suspended so that relevant regulations can be brought to Parliament to regulate the use of facebook,” he said.
He told Parliament that his Cabinet agreed to suspended facebook on Thursday, November 12, 2020.
“This was a not spur of the moment deliberation. In fact, concerns over use of Facebook has always been there.
“Today I will make a statement on the Cabinet decision to temporary suspend access to Facebook.
“Since then, there has been a lot of commentary and publication on Facebook on the decision of Cabinet to temporarily suspend access to Facebook,” he said.
Sogavare explained that a lot has been said about the reason why Cabinet has made this decision.
He said the Leader of Opposition, Leader of the Independent and the Member for East Are Are have also waded in on the debate media as well.
PM said he appreciates their comments, after all they are simply exercising their freedom of expression, a fundamental freedom that is provided for and protected by our Constitution.
Sogavare assured all that the decision to temporarily suspend access to Facebook was not at any time made with the intention to gag the media or the people who are constructively raising issues against the Government on social media.
“We are all politicians and getting criticised by the public comes with the territory. This is normal and is never a reason to suspend access to any social media platform.
“The decision to suspend access to Facebook is not a brazen attack on the freedom of expression as most have made it out to be.”
He said, on the outset, it is important to state that there is no legislation in Solomon Islands to govern and regulate the use of such social media platforms such as Facebook.
“In short the use of social media platforms such as Facebook in Solomon Islands is unregulated.
“We have always relied on the moral and ethical predisposition of users to use Facebook responsibly. However, sadly this has failed.”
He said the Government has always held the position that the unregulated use of Facebook in the Solomon Islands is a potential threat to public security, public safety and public morality.