Facebook dominates the information landscape in Papua New Guinea

Today, DT Institute releases “Characterizing Pre-Election Facebook Activity of Papua New Guinean Politicians,” research focusing on how the events and technological change of the last five years has impacted the informational landscape in Papua New Guinea. DT Institute and DT Global joined forces in the run-up to the June elections in Papua New Guinea to study Facebook activity linked to nine incumbent MPs in Papua New Guinea, and assess the presence and potential impact of misinformation. 

The platform has a mixed track record spotting and removing false or misleading information in Papua New Guinea, including through the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook was temporarily banned in 2018 due to concerns over its moderation practices. While none of the nine politicians appeared to use Facebook to disseminate false or misleading information, this research identified a significant amount of inauthentic behaviour on the platform, centred around accounts and pages claiming to represent political office holders. Facebook can do more to help safeguard the upcoming PNG national elections. 

This research also provides recommendations for additional analyses of the elections that should inform research to help Papua New Guinea and supporting international partners prepare for both interim local elections and the 2027 national elections.  

To read the full report, please click here.  

DT Institute is making available the Primary Sources (Social Media) from this research for the use by other organizations and individual researchers. We cannot guarantee its perfection, but we hope that others can find it a useful tool.