Facebook has justified its decision to expunge pages of Ugandans which occurred over the weekend.
Over 500 accounts were deleted and no explanation was given to the owners.
on Monday morning AFP, an international news cable reported that the pages removed belonged to Ugandan officials who sought to manipulate public debate ahead of January 14 election in which Ugandans will vote for new President.
“This month, we removed a network of accounts and pages in Uganda that engaged in CIB (Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour) to target public debate ahead of the election,” Facebook’s head of communication for sub-Saharan Africa, Kezia Anim-Addo, said in an email.
“They used 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 that they were.”
Anim-Addo said the network was linked to the government ministry of information and communications technology.
“Given the impending election in Uganda, we moved quickly to investigate and take down this network.”
President Museveni’s senior press secretary Don Wanyama, accused the company of seeking to influence the election.
“Shame on the foreign forces that think they can aid and plant a puppet leadership on Uganda by disabling online accounts of (ruling party) NRM supporters,” he said on Twitter.
“You wont take away President Kaguta Museveni” he added, using the president’s second name.
Museveni’s online account is still active but many government officials and members of the ruling party have seen their pages taken down, including a well known blogger and Museveni supporter, a prominent doctor and a senior official in the information ministry.
The president has long accused foreign organisations and elements of backing Wine in a bid to remove his government.
Anim-Addo said over 100 such networks seeking to manipulate public debate have been removed worldwide since 2017.
Story adapted from Yahoo.