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Papua New Guinea has imposed a month-long Facebook ban

The country will prevent residents from accessing the social network, in a bid to clean up the platform.

Why? According to the government, the time will be used to filter out fake accounts and remove pornography.“This will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly,” Sam Basil, Papua New Guinea’s communications minister, told the Post Courier, a local publication.

But: Only about 12 percent of the country uses Facebook. Seems like a drastic measure to shut down something that less than an eighth of your population uses.

Why it matters: A Facebook ban usually occurs right before an election, or else it’s imposed indefinitely, as in China. As Aim Sinpeng, an expert in digital media and politics at the University of Sydney, told the Guardian, “These issues with Facebook are being spoken about in a number of other countries, so the fact that Papua New Guinea is on the bandwagon shows how widespread concerns have become.”

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