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Monday, January 18, 2021

Uganda Orders Blocking of Social Media Platforms

Uganda has ordered telecommunication companies to block social media platforms, days before the country’s scheduled general election.

Uganda has ordered telecommunication companies to block social media platforms, days before the country’s scheduled general election.

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) allegedly wrote a letter to telecoms companies to “immediately suspend any access and use” of social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

Over the weekend, Facebook suspended fake accounts which allegedly were publishing pro-government posts, ahead of the country’s Thursday general election.

Senior Press Secretary to the President Don Wanyama wrote on Twitter, “Big techs like @Twitter & @Facebook are being used by opponents of @NRMOnline to stifle pro-NRM voices in Uganda.”

“They should “unfreeze” accounts they froze yesterday & today. We pray @UCC_Official is watching & can act to ensure a fair digital playfield. #StopTechcolonisation.”

President Yoweri Museveni is seeking reelection under his National Resistance Movement party, against ten other candidates. 

Meanwhile, UCC spokesperson Ibrahim Bbosa, denied the allegations saying, “So far, there is no directive to switch off the internet.” 

Bbosa added, “If there are instances of misuse, the means of communication may be restricted. The slow internet could be a result of too much traffic online because many people around the world are interested in the elections.”

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