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Port Moresby
January 24, 2020
News Your Vote 2017

Having An Online Presence During Election

I am not the only one that turns to the internet for information on vendors and basically any question that needs answering, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reported that globally more than 3.2 billion people are using the internet.

The National Information, Communication and Technology Authority revealed last year that the number of internet users in Papua New Guinea had massively increased since 2007.

In 2016, NICTA reported that 900,000 people in PNG were using the internet and 3.3 million people out of the total population of 8 million people had mobile phones. Note that these were the figures for 2016 meaning these numbers have changed in the last couple of months.

With the increasing number of internet users in PNG, it’s fit to say that having an online presence is not recommended but is essential for everyone especially businesses. And with election underway, I’d like to point out how having an online presence is beneficial before, during and after elections.

The internet offers you the opportunity to present yourself; for businesses it is an excellent way to market your business; for individuals, it is a great way to market your skills and be in touch with family. While for government bodies, such as the provincial administrations and district administrations, it promotes transparency.

For example, Kompiam Ambum district in Enga province has a district web page where the 5-year district plan can be found, and the district’s news and project developments are up to date. What this means is that Engans or anyone interested in the development of the district or that is living out of the province can have access to that information.

Not only that but researchers, journalists and academics have easy access to this information. This will provide information on what the current MP is doing for his district, and gives voters room to judge his accomplishments and make better choices.

During this election season, most candidates are using the internet to campaign. Facebook has become a platform that more candidates are using to campaign.

An advantage of using the internet to campaign is that it is less costly and has a considerable outreach. You pay nothing to own a Facebook page. In PNG, the average number of Facebook users per month varies from 600,000 to 700,000 that equates to about 10 per cent of our population. You’ll also find that most of these users are in the voting age.

The internet has basically revolutionised our lives. We can all use it to an extent that will benefit us or overuse it and lose some of the valuable things in life.

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