Papua New Guinea will ban Facebook for one month

Despite an for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, not every country is accepting Facebook‘s “I‘m Sorrys.”

Papua New Guinea‘s Communications Minister Sam Basil told his country‘s that citizens can expect a month-long shutdown of Facebook. The government will block access to the site for a month in order to assess the benefits versus risks of Facebook for PNG citizens, particularly around pornography and fake accounts.

“The time will allow information to be collected to identify users that hide behind fake accounts, users that upload pornographic images, users that post false and misleading information on Facebook to be filtered and removed,” Basil said. “This will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly.”

The shutdown constitutes an enforcement of PNG‘s 2016 Cyber Crime Act. The month sans-Facebook will reportedly allow police to find criminals utilizing Facebook, while the PNG government considers the role of Facebook in society. 

Basil said that the government would also consider creating its own state-run social network.

With a population of around , PNG has roughly the same amount of citizens as New York City. However, according to , only 12 percent of Papua New Guineans use the Internet, and Facebook. That comes out to about 1 million people, which is a drop in the bucket of Facebook‘s active monthly users.

But if PNG‘s restriction becomes a trend among smaller countries, that could hurt Facebook‘s standing around the world. Especially since Mark Zuckerberg that his vision for Facebook is as a public good or a utility; something that he has said isn‘t “cool,” but is important — and, crucially — ubiquitous.