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"Cyberbullying puts coexistence at risk"



The Solomon Islands are an archipelago nation located east of Papua New Guinea, not far from Australia. Its queen is Elizabeth II of England (they are therefore part of the Commonwealth), and its population is 685,000 people, of which only 20% have Internet access.



But the Solomon Islands also stand out since last week for something else: it is the first democratic nation that has decided to ban its population from accessing Facebook, the largest social network in the world, in the name of the preservation of coexistence.



Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare argued before Parliament that such a ban was necessary even to preserve "national unity", "undermined" in his view by Mark Zuckerberg's platform, as a result of the repercussions of cases of cyberbullying and defamation online:




"Cyberbullying is rampant on Facebook, people have been defamed by users using false names, and the reputations that people have built over the years [se destruyen] in a matter of minutes".








.TV domains bring the small island nation of Tuvalu one in every $ 12 that enters its coffers





Sogavare pointed out that the ban was a measure mainly focused on the young public (70% of the island population is under 30 years old), but that it was intended to protect them from "abusive language" and not to "silence" them.



Matthew Wale, leader of the opposition, attacked the government for its "pathetic" decision, because in his opinion the reasons alleged by it do not justify a measure of such depth.



A measure approved, but not yet in force; and temporary, but with no defined limit



However, the truth is that In its geographical and cultural context, the decision of the Solomonians is not so shockingThe leaders of several neighboring governments (such as Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Fiji) have already put similar measures on the table since 2018.



The objective of the Sogavare executive is that this ban is temporary, and that it remains in force only until laws that "regulate user behavior" on Facebook have been approved.




Until now, only China, North Korea and Syria had approved the Facebook blockade




Meanwhile, it is not yet very clear what methods they will use to prevent citizens from accessing the social network: the possibility of using a large firewall It is something the government is still discussing with the Internet providers of the Solomon Islands.



Facebook, for its part, has declared to have contacted the authorities of the country to discuss their plans directly with them, without clarifying what their position will be or if they will offer an alternative solution.