Why it matters: Election interference was rampant on Facebook during 2016, partially due to the many fake accounts on the platform. Facebook has taken steps to address the problem, but world governments have begun to initiate deeper investigations into the matter. Papua New Guinea's government will be shutting down the social media website for a month for precisely that reason.
According to Papua New Guinea Today, the country plans to shut down Facebook for a full month while they conduct "research and analysis" into the platform's use among citizens.
"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," PNG's Communication Minister Sam Basil said in a statement.
It's not clear how the country intends to filter or remove Facebook content they deem unsavory, though.
At any rate, after the country deals with the fake account issue, "genuine people with real identities [will be able to] use the social network responsibly," according to Basil.
It sounds like PNG might also be attempting to determine whether or not their citizens are better off without Facebook in their lives.
According to PNG Today, the Minister said the country's government would be able to "better analyse the positive impact" the shutdown may have on the population, while also weighing the "impact of progress without or with" its use.
Basil even hinted at the possibility of the PNG government creating a social network of its own, one that is "more conducive" for PNG citizens to communicate with each other using "genuine profiles."
Image courtesy Scuba Diver Life