The government is expected to submit to Parliament in May when it will open the results of its investigation following what has been previously described as violent attack against royals on Facebook.  

New bills had been drafted and current laws would be amended to allow the government to be able to police social media.

A government committee which included the Attorney General was working hand in hand with Facebook authorities.

Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa has described the way how the committee operated as sailing smoothly (“lele ‘i Matangi”) and restlessly (“ta’emālōlō.”)

The committee has gathered good and significant amount of evidence, the Prime Minister told Kaniva News.

As we reported last year, a number of violent threats made toward the King and his daughter have prompted government to mull over closing down Facebook in the kingdom.

The attack was part of an escalating online war between the pro-democracy camp and those firmly backing the royals, the nobility and their supporters.

The Prime Minster said when Parliament opens in May “we will step into another level which will enable us to put an end to these abhorrent, disrespectful and discourteous behaviours” being exercised on Facebook.

He said these misbehaviours had been caused by only a few people and they affected “the future of our children.”

Hon Tu’i’onetoa’s comments came after he told civil servants during a televised prayer service in Nuku’alofa  recently that using offensive language and hate speech on Facebook these days has become uncontrollable.

He said it was disappointing and too much to bear “when we found out that they were our real friends and immediate family members who were defaming us on Facebook.”

When asked about a meeting in Australia late last year between Facebook authorities and a Tongan delegation led by the Attorney General, Hon Tu’i’onetoa said his government was still working on the issue. He said people accused of slandering the royals were living overseas and that part of the investigation was marred by the lack of laws in Tonga.

The Prime Minister said the government would not close down Facebook in the kingdom.

He said Facebook was a great platform for social, economic and religious purposes and only some who abused it and these people needed to be severely punished.


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