Photo: Minister of Climate Change, Honorable James Bule getting use to YTS and social media

Using Facebook to Address Social Issues in the Pacific

Lyndal Rowlands of SciDev.Net writes about popular Facebook groups in the Pacific that are drawing thousands of members to impel public action on social issues.

After experiences of Tropical Cyclone Pam recovery efforts, includes information dissemination, uncovering stories, news and discussions on local Facebook groups in particular, the interest now looks solid from outside Vanuatu.

YumiToktokStret is a Vanuatu forum, not only the people were sharing photos of the damage and tracing friends and families, it also flags out the transparency card in relief distribution, when opinions, questions raised evolves around aid, government and agency are in the spotlight.

At some point you can smell fear of political instability within the government, opposition gaining advantage, when MP Moana Carcasses speaks out about unfair distribution, Government lashed back at opposition on one MP hijacking a vehicle of supplies for his people and was later stopped using a Black Hawk helicopter.

And that is one likely reason why the whole Nauru country is blocked from accessing Facebook recently and the new policy is starting to stir protest and loathing around Pacific.

“This is why content blocking at the ISP level is a dangerous thing to legitimise. Efforts to protect public morality are often difficult to distinguish from efforts to control or silence dissent”, said Pacific Institute of Public Policy’s chief Technologist, Dan McGarry.

The article by SciDev,Net Pacific example of bridging the digital divide in Vanuatu that keeps thousands of people out of the political loop.

SciDev.Net is a world’s leading source of authoritative news, views and analysis on information about science and technology for global development, and their analysis on YTS and social media network in Pacific is the first interest of its kind.