Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has threatened to ban Facebook as the Government continues to crack down on anonymous writers on social media who attack the Government. What do you think? Do you support the Prime Minister’s threat? Our reporter, Nefertiti Matatia, asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:
Yu Felise, 20, Saleufi
I agree that it should be banned from the country. So many children have access to it and this is where all the drama begins. It is not just children, but the adults as well. They argue on Facebook and gossip about this person and that person. It is like a sickness that cannot be cured. These are the kind of behaviors that doesn’t just portray a picture of you and the family you come from, but also the country you represent. So many fights and the starting point of so much hatred, jealously and gossips are from Facebook. There are some people who come to the market and they argue here and fight all because they find out that one person posted a status and they think it is about them and things like that. It is good if it gets banned to avoid trouble for the Police and the public.
Ioane Ioane, 23, Vaivase
I will not choose any sides because I agree and disagree with the banning of Facebook. I disagree because it helps us to communicate with our families overseas. There are so many people who have loved ones living abroad and Facebook is the only way they communicate. It is useful for others, but for some they use it for the wrong cause. In this time and era, there are so many teenagers who are just out of control and use Facebook for their personal issues. I have a Facebook page and I mostly see a lot of inappropriate things. Everyone would be able to read and know what they are arguing about because they go public on Facebook. Every person would be able to read it. It is not just going to be between two people. It just goes viral and that is the disadvantage side of it.
Alatina Matamua, 53, Sauano
I may not have a Facebook, but I understand how useful it is. The only reason it becomes bad is when people misuse it. I feel that Facebook should only be used by those within the appropriate age range, but definitely not for school students. There are so many different sites and things like that on Facebook. For me only, if Facebook will be blocked, this would affect those at work. Some of them have businesses and they market their products online. It is how they earn a living and will be able to sell their products. It attracts the buyer to come to them. These are the kind of cases that we should be mindful of, not many have time or the money to go and do an advertisement. It is much simpler to just post it and for people to be aware of what their products are. It should not be banned because the majority of the people use it, but the kids should focus only on their studies.
Jackson Jones, 26, Apia
I totally disagree with the banning of Facebook. I saw it on the paper that the Prime Minister will be doing something about Facebook. People not being allowed to use Facebook would be a violation of their human rights. The right of freedom of speech and the freedom to speak your mind is exactly what the people are doing. With what the Prime Minister is saying that is his freedom of speech and nobody is telling him what to do. He is the leader of this country and I think it is stupid if people will be banned from using Facebook. I understand that he is under a lot of pressure with what is happening regarding O.L.P. even with what has happened with Luatuanu’u and him calling those people dogs and that is personal. Who is he to call those people dogs, what if we call him dog, a mouse or a cat or whatever. I think he wouldn’t like it and that is the same for those people in Luatuanu’u. He is good in some areas, but with his decision on banning Facebook I don’t agree with it.
David Taua, 43, Faleaseela
In my opinion, no way should Facebook be banned from Samoa. The reason is because this makes communication accessible to relatives and loved ones abroad. I think the reason the Prime Minister is threatening to ban Facebook from the country is for those who use this social media platform for a bad cause. Come to think of it, if Facebook will be banned, then it would be a barrier to communication. Calling directly on cellphones or landlines overseas is costly. The biggest question is why all of a sudden the Government wants to ban Facebook. There is a possibility that it could be the O.L.P. Some of us have not seen our cousins or sisters and brothers for how many years and this is the only way that we keep in touch. Through Facebook, we are able to see them and know what is happening on their side of the world. With the changing of the weather and climate in terms of cyclones, through Facebook we would be able to know if they are okay and how they are doing.