18 February 2016

Uganda: Govt Blocks Facebook, Twitter

Photo: Daily Monitor
As Ugandans go to the polls, the Uganda Communications Commission says they have blocked social media platforms over security concerns.

Uganda's massively social media-addictive population today morning woke up to the realisation that they could not access or post updates on facebook, twitter, whatsapp sites among others.

Users especially those using Internet Service Providers (ISPs); MTN, Utl, Smile, Airtel etc were blocked from accessing the social media sites but some users on Africell and Vodafone said they had uninterrupted service.

On instructions of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the ISPs were yesterday directed to block social media and mobile money services for at least 24 hours arguing that they wanted to minimise sharing of information that would incite violence among the population.

UCC has said the services will be restored after 'assessing the security situation'. However some Ugandans have circumvented around the blockage and are accessing the social media site via the virtual private networks (VPN).

UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabazi said they were instructed by the Electoral Commission to shut down social media and mobile services because candidates were alledgedly using them to campaign and also bribe voters.

Mutabazi says the services will be restored upon instructions from the Electoral Communication. But earlier EC had denied being behind the blockage saying they "don't manage internet communications"

Internet connectivity has also been high interrupted with unusual slow speed experienced by users.

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