Parliament Facebook livestream mystery
The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Tiatia Graeme Tualaulelei, said that he did not give instructions to cease the live streaming of Parliament proceedings on Facebook, when Parliament reconvened on Tuesday.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Tiatia said he was under the impression that the livestream was still on for Facebook and Youtube.
But that was not the case on Tuesday when Parliament resumed.
A link was made available for viewers to watch the debate from Youtube. There was no Facebook live for the Parliament session.
“I will have to talk to our I.T. again on that,” Tiatia said.
“Our I.T. had informed me that it was still on but I'll have to ask him again now…”
Live streaming of Parliament proceedings on Facebook had been done in previous sessions attracting a lot of viewers from overseas and locally to listen to the debate.
However, the sudden change of no livestream for Parliament proceedings has raised eyebrows for Member of Parliament for Salega East, Olo Fiti Vaai.
Olo said that legislations and decisions made in Parliament should be made available and accessible for people to understand proceedings.
“It seems like it was deliberately turned off so that people wouldn’t understand what is being debated,” Olo said.
Told that the session on Tuesday was made available on the Youtube platform, Olo said the Clerk should have informed the public about it.
“Our people are used to going on Facebook to watch Parliament,” he said.
“We need to be more transparent about these things and the Clerk needs to inform people about such changes. But why would they turn it off on Facebook and not on the other platforms?”
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi had recently told the media that Government was looking seriously at banning Facebook in the country.
Tuilaepa said the social media platform has hurt people and many have complained about it.
Minister of Communications, Information and Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai said there have only been discussions on the ban but there was no intention to close it down.
“We never said we will close it down it was just a conversation at the time and looking into the future,” he said.
“But its good that since we’ve had that conversation the Facebook has been very attentive to what we had previously and raised before with fake news and bloggers.
“So there has been a lot of collaborative work between government and Facebook….”