Nauru’s opposition and refugee advocates have slammed a government ban on Facebook, calling the move an act of “dictatorship”.
The comments came after the government directed Digicel, the nation’s internet service provider, “to start blocking applicable websites”, which the opposition said includes the social networking site.
In a statement, the government cited moral and religious grounds for the ban, as part of a broader crackdown on “internet sites that show pornography, particularly those featuring children”.
But opposition MP Matthew Batsiua told Pacific Beat he considers the move a way to stop Nauruans from using Facebook to criticise the government.
“The real agenda here is curbing the rights of people to access social media,” he said.
He said people in Nauru usually use Facebook to express dissent and keep in touch with family overseas.
Mr Batsiua dismissed the government’s suggestion that the ban was implemented on moral grounds.
“The first reason they gave [for the closure] was due to a technical problem. Now it’s all about porn,” he said.
“This is all about [justice minister] Adeang and his cronies being worried about the ever increasing number of people who have taken to social media to criticise his dictatorial style, which even the president is either unwilling – or too scared – to rein in.”