The President of Nauru has banned his citizen from Using Facebook in the country. He says his country’s blocking off Facebook is about protecting children and to prevent $exual predators.
The Nauruan government temporarily blocked the social media site two weeks ago in what it said was an attempt to stop [email protected] coming into the country.
Nauruan opposition MPs and refugee groups have said it is part of a wider crackdown on free speech stemming from criticism of the government’s policies and Australia’s processing centre.
The country’s president, Baron Waqa, says it is wrong to link the ban to the asylum seekers on the island and described criticism from “self-appointed human rights activists overseas” as irrelevant, hypocritical and an attempt to bully the country.
“This decision has been made by government to protect its people from the abuse of the internet which has seen vulnerable individuals, especially young Nauruan girls, being maliciously targeted, harassed and even bullied,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Sites set up solely for distributing explicit, obscene and illicit content will be permanently blocked.
“Other sites — including Facebook — that have been abused by malicious users are under a temporary block until the necessary protection mechanisms are in place to ensure that Nauruans are not left exposed and vulnerable to the actions of criminals, $exual perverts and cyber bullies,” he said.
He said there was no other interference to internet services and other social media sites, and asylum seekers have plenty of email and social media options.
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s Pamela Curr told AAP in early May Facebook is the only cheap, effective method of communication for asylum seekers on the island as they have to buy $10 phone cards to pay for $5-per-minute calls overseas.