30 May 2015

Nauru explains key reason for Facebook ban

6:58 pm on 30 May 2015

The president of Nauru, Baron Waqa, has told a United Nations agency that Facebook has been used to create tension within families and this is a key reason it was banned.

President of Nauru, Baron Waqa

President of Nauru, Baron Waqa Photo: Supplied

Mr Waqa told the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific conference in Thailand that foreign media reports on the matter have been biased and unsubstantiated.

Media organisations have reported opposition views that the Nauru government banned Facebook to quell anger over its controversial actions and to stop asylum seekers and refugees at the Australian detention camps from communicating freely with the outside world.

But Mr Waqa told ESCAP it is about Facebook being used for pornographic purposes and for harassment.

"The use of Facebook on Nauru to circulate nude pictures of young girls and the unregulated use of language to intimidate and to create tensions among friends and family is something that our small and vulnerable society cannot, and will not, accept."

Facebook says restricting access to a free and open internet deprives people of important economic and social opportunities and it will remain concerned as long as the ban stays in place.

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