Fuamatu Kosetatino and Fuamatu Samoa Oloaga of Lauli’i village
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 19 DECEMBER 2018: Lauli’i village on the Eastern side of Apia has laid down strict rules to stop village members making negative and vicious posts on social media.
The rules were initiated after five families were fined $5000 talā for using strong and foul language in comments posted on social media against the village chief Leniu Fred Te’o.
According to village orator Fuamatu Kosetatino, the comments were posted on the face book page OLP regarding Leniu’s letter to Court.
“The letter was to inform the Court that things were calm and peaceful at Lauli’i after the incident which killed one of Lauli’i’s son,” said Fuamatu.
The incident concerns the death of civil engineer Jeremiah Malaki Tauiliili 3 weeks ago and one of the accused Herman Westerlund is also from Lauli’i and tension was expected between the families hence Leniu’s letter to Court.
However, the post stated that Leniu lied in the letter alleging that Leniu was the Chief – Sa’o of Malaki’s family.
Fa’amatu said during the village meeting last Saturday, there was a call to banish the 5 families of people who posted comments.
“In the end, the families were to pay $10,000 talā each and banished from the village, however, Leniu asked for leniency and the Council decided on a lesser fine of $5,000 talā only, no banishment,” explained Fuamatu.
The village also set the fines to be paid by 14 January 2019.
Overseas relatives warned of the consequences
Fuamatu said the authors of comments posted on face book all reside overseas, and the penalized families have been asked to warn their relatives overseas of the consequences on the families in Samoa should they continue to post against anyone in the village.
“It is okay to post generally on anything, but when it is against anyone in the village then they must prepare to face the consequences,” said Faumatu.
The village Tu’ua Fa’amatu Samoa Oloaga said it is a lesson and warning for the next person or people to comment against anyone in the village, they will be fined and banished.
Lauli’i is the first village in Samoa to take a stance against negative social media posting.