Facebook ban will impact online trading group

The administrators of a Facebook-based goods exchange platform in Samoa say the Government’s plan to ban Facebook will have an impact on their operations.

The Le Barter online trading platform was launched in May this year and has experienced phenomenal growth in the space of over two months with over 4,800 active members registered on its Facebook page.

The online platform enables its members to trade items and services with no money changing hands and is based on a model that was established and successfully operated in Fiji.

But Margaret Bell, who is one of the administrators of the Le Barter Facebook page, said a ban on Facebook in Samoa will have an effect on their platform and impact the ability of their members to continue to trade.

She said if the social media is shut down in Samoa then it will be up to their members to decide if they want to move to another online platform.

"It really depends on whether those within the group wish to continue. There are other social platforms available but may require a bit of time to set up a new process as Facebook makes it [registration] quite easy," she said.

But Facebook is not only having a positive impact on online trading platforms such as Le Barter, added Ms Bell who pointed out its benefits as a communication tool for family and friends.

"Facebook provides a means of easy communications for friends and loved ones. It takes a few sour apples to taint situations unfortunately but believe this will only create a surge in the use of other platforms," she emphasised. 

"Time and data that people usually spend on Facebook will be diverted elsewhere. It's the technology age!" 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi announced early last month that the Samoa Government is considering a Facebook ban, due to the “too many faceless people spreading lies and defaming people.”

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