A day after Facebook confirmed the suspension of dozens of pages and accounts affiliated with the ruling party in Uganda, the government has ordered internet service providers to block social media platforms and messaging apps.
Media reports suggest social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter cannot be accessed in Uganda.
According to the reports, the Uganda Communications Commission [UCC] compelled all ISPs around the country to block all social media platforms and apps till further notice. The country is set to hold its presidential elections two days from now, on Thursday, 14th.
Yesterday, Facebook confirmed blocking accounts linked to the country’s government for what it calls Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior with a sole aim to manipulate public debate.
The shutdown pages and accounts were accused of using fake and duplicate accounts to manage pages, comment on other people’s content, impersonate users, re-share posts in groups to make them appear more popular than they were.
A day later, earlier today, Ugandan netizens woke up in shock. Many could not access Facebook or Instagram.
The afternoon block has also affected other social media sites away from Facebook. The social media block is despite a letter from “Committee to Protect Journalists and 54 other organizations” to the country’s current president urging him to “ensure open and unrestricted internet access during and after” the election, reports EyeRadio.
It’s not the first time Uganda has blocked social media. The country also blocked social media platforms and apps in the 2016 elections under “security” grounds.