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


Kant, R and Titifanue, J and Tarai, J and Finau, G, Internet under threat? The politics of online censorship in the Pacific Islands, Pacific Journalism Review, 24, (2) pp. 64-83. ISSN 1023-9499 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

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

DOI: doi:10.24135/pjr.v24i2.444


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

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cyberbullying, e-democracy, ICT policy, internet censorship, media freedom, Pacific Islands, social media
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Political science not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Information and Communication Services
Objective Group:Media services
Objective Field:Media services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Finau, G (Dr Glenn Finau)
ID Code:139833
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Accounting
Deposited On:2020-07-07
Last Modified:2020-08-17
Downloads:15 View Download Statistics

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