The government must not shut down Facebook.

It is understandable that the government has been outraged  by the comments posted online about members of the royal family.

However, shutting down Facebook in Tonga will not solve the problem.

People with the right software will be able to circumvent the ban and there are dozens of other online forums where people can post anything they like.

No matter what ban the government might impose, Tongans living overseas who are suspected of posting the comments on the royals, could continue to post obscene allegations on Facebook.

According to a report published by Radio FM 87.5 on its Facebook page today, a report from the Attorney General on the issue will be submitted to parliament tomorrow.

The Cabinet is expected to make its final decision based on the report.

The government will make a mistake if it tries to ban Facebook.

The Tonga Chamber of Commerce has objected to the closure.

Ordinary Tongans have also opposed the proposal.

While some supported the move, many said Facebook should not be closed down just because of an act of pure evil by a few unidentified groups or individuals.

They said the best solution was for the government  to investigate and bring those responsible to justice.

They said Tonga must accept the reality of digital world and information age.

Some suggested the king and royal family must learn to face these kind of comments because it was an expression of freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is guaranteed  under the Tongan constitution,

They said the government must treat the king and the royals  equally with other  people when it comes to social media because that is how social media was meant to be.

Everyone was free to post what they think of their leaders.

Striking a balance

Striking a balance  between freedom of expression and being offensive is not easy, especially when a country ‘s democratic political structures are new.

However, that is what the Tongan government must do.

Earlier this year New Zealand’s Minister of Justice, Andrew Little,  wrote about freedom of speech in New Zealand. His comments raise issues that are pertinent to the situation in Tonga.

“Protecting freedom of speech is vital to hold those in authority to account, challenge the socially and culturally dominant, and enable society to progress.

“Freedom of speech can give force to new ideas, but also cause discomfort and offence.

“When speech threatens others, or is abusively discriminatory, then it has the potential to cause harm and encroach on the freedom of others.

“Drawing the line is not simple. Protecting freedom of speech that challenges authority and orthodoxy will inevitably still cause offence to some.”

The decision the Tongan government faces is not an easy one. To simply shut down Facebook would not stop offensive comments being made.

It could also damage the kingdom’s economy and severely inconvenience those ordinary Tongans who use the online forum sensibly.

More importantly, it would, however hard it is to accept, strike a blow against freedom of speech, something that should not come from a democratic government.

For more information

Gov’t may shut down Facebook following ‘disrespectful, obscene’ allegations against king; PM seriously concerned

3 COMMENTS

  1. Kuopau ke ‘oua ‘e tāpuni ‘e he pule’anga’ ‘a e Feisipuka’. ‘Oku mahino pe ‘a e ‘uhinga’ ko e tu’unga he ngaahi fakamatala ta’efakapa’apa’a mo ta’etaau kau ki he fale ‘o e tu’i’. Ka ‘e ‘ikai solova ‘a e palopalema’ ia ‘i hano tāpuni ‘o e mītia fakasōsiale’ ni ‘i Tonga. Kuo ‘osi lahi ‘aupito ‘a e ngaahi me’angāue faka’initaneti pe software ‘e lava pe ia ‘e he kakai’ ‘o ngāue’aki ‘i Tonga ke nau lava ai ‘o ngāue’aki ‘a e Feisipuka’ lolotonga hano tāpuni. Kuopau ke hanga ‘e he pule’anga’ ‘o fuatautau e mahu’inga ke malu’i e fale ‘o e tu’i’ mei he ngaahi fakamatala peheni’, pea mo e totonu fakakonisitūtone ki he tau’atāina ‘o e fakahā ‘o e fakakaukau’.

    ‘Oku mahino foki kuo mamahi lahi e pule’anga’ he lea kuo fai ki he fale ‘o e tu’i’.
    ‘E tatau ai pē pe ko e hā ha fa’ahinga tapui ‘e fai ‘e he pule’anga’, ‘e kei lava pe kakai Tonga ia ‘i tu’apule’anga’, ‘a ia ‘oku mahalo’i ko kinautolu ne nau ‘o hake ‘a e ngaahi fakamatala ta’efe’unga ko ‘eni’ ki he fale ‘o e tu’i’, ‘o kei hokohoko atu pe hono pousi hake ‘o e ngaahi fakamatala natula palakuu’ ni he Feisipuka’.

    Fakatatau ki he peesi Feisipuka ‘a e letiō FM 87.5 ‘i he ‘aho ni’ ‘e fakahū atu mei he ‘ōfisi ‘o e ‘Āteni Seniale’ ki Fale Alea ha’anau līpooti ‘apongipongi. ‘E ‘amanaki ke faitu’utu’uni faka’osi ‘a e kapineti’ ‘o makatu’unga ‘i he lipōti’ ni.
    Kuo fakafepaki’i ‘e he Tonga Chamber of Commerce ‘a e tāpuni’ ni.

    ‘Oku fakafepaki’i ‘e he kakai angamaheni foki ‘a e fakakaukau ‘a e pule’anga’ ko ‘eni’.
    Lolotonga ‘oku poupou’i ‘e ha ni’ihi ‘a e nga’unu ‘a e pule’anga’, kuo pehē ‘e he tokolahi ‘oku ‘ikai totonu ke tāpuni ‘a e Feisipuka’ tu’unga ‘i ha ngāue kovi ‘a ha ki’i ni’ihi ‘oku ‘ikai ‘ilo ia pe ko hai kinautolu. Pehē ‘e kakai ko ‘eni’ ko e vete ‘oku totonu ke fai ‘e he pule’anga’ ki heni’ ko hano fakatotolo’i pea ‘omai ‘a kinautolu ngāue pango’ ni ki he fakamaau’anga’.

    Kuopau ke tali ‘e Tonga ‘a e mo’oni ‘o e māmani ‘o e tisitala pe fakakomipiuta’.
    Fokotu’u mai ‘e he ni’ihi kuopau ke ako ‘a e tu’i’ mo hono fale’ ke nau fehangahangai mo e ngaahi komeni peheni’ ko’euhī he ko e fakahā ia ‘o e tau’atāina o e lea’.

    ‘Oku malu’i ‘a e tau’atāina ‘o e lea’ ‘i he konisitūtone ‘a Tonga’.
    Na’a nau pehē kuopau ke tatau hono ohi ‘e he pule’anga’ e tu’i mo hono fale’ mo e kakai kehe’ ‘i he taimi ‘oku hoko ai ha me’a ‘i he mītia fakasōsiale’koe’uhi he ko e anga ia ‘o e mītia fakasōsiale’ mo ‘uhinga’.
    ‘Oku tau’atāina pe ‘a e taha kotoa ke pousi e anga ‘enau fakakaukau ki honau kau taki’.

    Fuatautau:
    Ko hono fuatautau ‘o e tau’atāina ke fakahā ‘a e fakaukau’ mo hano ‘ohofi ke fakangata ‘oku ‘ikai faingofua tautefito ki he taimi ‘oku fo’ou ai ha fa’unga fakapolitikale fakatemokalati ‘o ha fonua. Neongo ia ko e me’a ia ‘oku totonu ke fai ‘e he pule’anga’.

    ‘I he konga ki mu’a ‘o e ta’u ni’ na’e tohi ai ‘a e Minisitā Ki he Fakamaau’anga’ ‘a Nu’u Sila ni’, Andrew Little fekau’aki mo e tau’atāina ‘o e lea’ ‘i Nu’u Sila’. Ko ‘ene ngaahi komeni’ ‘oku’ ne ‘ohake ‘a e ngaahi ‘īsiu ‘oku fekau’aki mo e tu’unga ‘i Tonga’.
    Na’e pehē ‘e Little, ko hono malu’i ‘o e tau’atāina ‘o e lea’ ‘oku mahu’inga ia ki hono teke e kau ma’umafai’ ke nau taliui, pole’i ‘a kinautlolu ‘oku mālohi fakasōsiale mo fakaangafakafonua’, mo ne fakamafeia e nga’unu ki he lelei ‘a e sōsaieti’.

    ‘E lava ke teke ‘e he tau’atāina ‘o e lea’ ha ngaahi fakakaukau fo’ou, ka te ne fakatupunga foki mo ha ta’efiemālie mo ha loto mamahi.
    Ko ‘ene fakamanamana’i pe ‘e he lea’ ha kakai kehe, pe ko hano fakakehekehe’i kovia, ta ‘oku ‘i ai ‘a e faingāmalie ke ne fakatupu ha faingatāmaki mo halaloto’api atu ia ‘i he tau’atāina ‘a e kakai kehe’.

    Ko hono fakangata’ ‘oku ‘ikai faingofua. Ko hono malu’i ‘o e tau’atāina ‘o e lea ko ē ‘oku ne pole’i ‘a e ma’umafai mo kinautolu ‘oku ‘i ai ha’anau fa’ahinga tui ‘e kei hoko pe ia ‘o fakatupu loto mamahi ki he kakai kehe’.

    Ko e tu’utu’uni ‘oku fehangahangai mo e pule’anga Tonga’ ‘oku ‘ikai ko ha me’a faingofua. Ko hano tāpuni faka’aufuli ‘o e Feisipuka’ he’ikai ke ne ta’ofi ‘e ia ‘a e ngaahi komeni fakatupu mamahi ‘oku fai’.

    ‘E lava ke ne toe maumau’i ‘e ia ‘a e ‘ekonomia ‘a e pule’anga’ mo ne fakafaingata’a’ia’i lahi ‘a e kakai Tonga angamaheni ‘oku nau me’angāue lelei’aki ‘a e Feisipuka’.

    Ko e me’a ‘oku toe mahu’inga ange’ ko hono fakafaingata’a’ia’i ko ‘eni ‘o e tau’atāina ke lea’, na’e ‘ikai tonu ke ha’u ia mei ha pule’anga fakatemokālati.

  2. Me’a ni ‘oku ‘ikai fai ha fetu’utaki kihe FACEBOOK fkpule’anga fekau’aki moe palopalema ‘oku hoko, ke ‘ilo e kakai anga’imanu fulikivanu ‘oku nau fai e pango ko’eni ke uesia ai e tau’ataina e tangata, ke tu’unga ai hono ta’ofa e FB ‘I Tonga?
    Koe fifili pe ??

  3. Oku ou tui oku ikai totonu hono teu ke tapuni oe FB he oku sai pe FB ia oku tatau pe ia moe kau mau kava malohi oku sai pe kava iateaia pe koe toko taha oku ne mau oku ne ai pe o kovi pe sai koe FB oku sai pe ia talu e lau ae post kovi ae peesi mooni mo totonu mei ane fe moe iai ene kau like kiai oku nau ilo kotoa pe ae toko taha post ha oku nau longo ai kae ikai kenau lea hake kae nounou pea moe peesi ae Patoa koe lea kapekape pe oku post ai oku malie ngaahi issue oku faa post ai ka oku ikai kete lava o like ai koe ngaahi fuu lea oku ikai taau oku faa ohake ai ko he oku ou tui au naa tau tupu kotoa pe he ngaahi Matua lelei o nau talamai e fkapaapa o tau ilo kotoa pe pea kapau oku fanongo pe kakai oku nau poupou kihe puleanga lolotonga oku nau lea kihe fale tui tenau lea mo post mo enau lea pehe kiai kapau tenau tui otua mo tauhi fkapaapa kihe feveitokaiaki ae Tonga pea ko etau poupou e alu tatau pe mokinautolu pea e tonu e taumua oe folau kataki pe naa oku lavei ha tafaki ka koe anga eku sio kihe fkofa oe atamai ae kakai oku nau post kovi he Fb pea moe ngaahi metia kehe pe

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