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Uganda orders all social media to be blocked – letter


KAMPALA, Jan. 12 (Reuters) – Uganda instructed internet service providers on Tuesday to block all social media platforms and messaging apps until further notice, according to a letter from the country’s communications regulator, which Reuters saw.

Users complained on Tuesday that they do not have access to Facebook (FB.O) and WhatsApp, social media platforms that are often used for election campaigns in the East African country ahead of the presidential elections on Thursday. Continue reading

“The Uganda Communications Commission hereby instructs you to suspend all access and any direct or other use of all social media platforms and online messaging applications via your network until further notice,” says the letter from the Executive Director of the Commission to the internet service provider.

Commission spokesman Ibrahim Bbossa and government spokesman Ofwono Opondo did not answer calls for comments. An advisor to the information minister, Judith Nabakooba, said she was unable to comment on it at the moment.

A source in Uganda’s telecommunications sector said the government had made it clear to telecommunications company executives that the social media ban was retaliation for Facebook blocking some pro-government accounts.

The U.S. social media giant said Monday it shut down a network in Uganda affiliated with the country’s information department for using fake and duplicate accounts to post ahead of this week’s elections. Continue reading

Reporting from Nairobi Newsroom; Adaptation by David Clarke

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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