Nov 19, 2018 Last Updated 3:44 AM, Nov 16, 2018

By Netani Rika

PAPUA New Guinea's churches have reacted strongly to an attempt by government to shut down Facebook.

Father Victor Roche of the Cathlolic Bishops Conference of PNG and the Solomon Islands said it was important that people were allowed freedom of expression.

Roche made the comments after the government complained about negative comments about ministers on social media.

The government of Prime Minister Peter O'Neill then threatened a blanket closure of Facebook.

But Roche said it was important to balance responsibility with rights.

"If a minister feels offended, take action in court," Roche told local media today.

"But the public should have a right to express their dissatisfaction with government and parliamentarians."

He also said people should not take advantage of their freedom and social media as a means to defame others

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