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Internet under threat? The politics of online censorship in the Pacific Islands

Kant, R, Titifanue, J, Tarai, J and Finau, G ORCID: 0000-0001-5708-8654 2018 , 'Internet under threat? The politics of online censorship in the Pacific Islands' , Pacific Journalism Review, vol. 24, no. 2 , pp. 64-83 , doi:

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In the Pacific, there have been disconcerting news releases ofgovernments making attempts at censoring the internet, a move seen to pointtowards silencing dissenting views on popular online forums. The conflicting trends between the new political forum ushered in by the new media onthe one hand, and the restrictive mode of state censorship on the other hand,pose severe challenges to the broader framework of rights and freedom ofexpressions. This article aims to examine the regulatory approaches beingdeveloped and proposed in response to the emergence of new media in Pacific Island Countries (PICs). This article reviews two ways in which PacificIsland governments are attempting to regulate the internet, firstly throughthe development of legislation to prosecute cybercriminals, and secondlythrough the banning of specific internet sites, most notably Facebook. Despitethe disparities in internet penetration levels, the article reveals that nearly allcountries in the Pacific are increasingly regulating or are moving towardsregulating the internet. The justifications for internet regulation and censorship are primarily predicated around the rhetoric of protecting its citizensfrom the adverse effects of the Internet. However, these regulations seem tobe a response to Pacific Island governments’ fears of growing criticism andpolitical dissent on social media platforms.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kant, R and Titifanue, J and Tarai, J and Finau, G
Keywords: cyberbullying, e-democracy, ICT policy, internet censorship, media freedom, Pacific Islands, social media
Journal or Publication Title: Pacific Journalism Review
Publisher: Auckland University of Technology * Tuwhera Open Access Publishing
ISSN: 1023-9499
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Romitesh Kant, Jason Titifanue, Jope Tarai, Glenn Finau. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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