Government of Uganda has issued a demand to social media giants Facebook and Instagram to officially write to the government through the Ministry of ICT and National Government, explaining the decision to remove a number of Ugandans mostly associated with the ruling NRM party from the platforms.
Late last week, Facebook and its sister company Instagram deactivated hundreds of accounts which it claimed were fake.
“We found this network to be linked to the Government Citizens Interaction Center at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology in Uganda,” Facebook said.
“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 than they were,” Facebook said in a statement.
Addressing press on Tuesday, Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo accused the Tech giants of taking a unilateral decision with out seeking facts first.
Opondo said the Government of Uganda demanded that the companies should officially write to the Ministry of ICT to explain their decision.
“We demand that Facebook Twitter and Instagram write officially to the individuals and since they have cited a government entity — Ministry of Information — we demand that they write to the ministry and provide the reasons why they unilaterally made that decision, without applying the rule of natural justice; the right to fair hearing.”
Many of the terminated Facebook accounts, Opondo said, belonged to government officials “who are on official platform of communication of government of Uganda and therefore cannot be accused of being robots meant.”
Besides, Opondo says Facebook did not write to the Government asking to prove that indeed these individuals exist.
Opondo also said it was surprising that some of the removed accounts belong to famous and unmistakable Ugandans, such as artiste Full Figure.
“She is known to everybody. Nobody can claim that Full Figure is not available.”
“We can only conclude that these individuals were targeted because they recently joined the NRM.”
Following the account removal, Government has since blocked access to Facebook in the country.