Uganda bans social media ahead of critical vote
Uganda banned social media and messaging apps on Tuesday, two days ahead of a presidential election pitting Yoweri Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, against opposition frontrunner Bobi Wine, a popular singer.
Users complained on Tuesday that they were unable to access Facebook and WhatsApp, social media platforms being widely used for campaigning by all sides ahead of Thursday's election in the East African country.
In a letter seen by Reuters to internet service providers dated Jan. 12, Uganda's communications regulator ordered them to block all social media platforms and messaging apps until further notice...
A source in Uganda's telecom sector said the government had made clear to executives at telecoms companies that the social media ban was in retaliation for Facebook blocking some pro-government accounts...
The U.S. social media giant said on Monday it had taken down a network in Uganda linked to the country's ministry of information for using fake and duplicate accounts to post ahead of this week's election.
A Facebook spokeswoman said the company had no comment on reports users were facing difficulties accessing the platform.
... Wine has been using Facebook to relay live coverage of his campaigns and news conferences after he said many media outlets had declined to host him. Most radio and TV stations are owned by government allies and Uganda's leading daily is state-run.