Uganda government has Tuesday disabled Facebook, a day after the internet giant confirmed shutting down pro-government accounts on accusation of manipulating public debate ahead of Thursday general election.
With many government officials perceiving Facebook’s decision as ‘biased’ and a move to influence the election, they called up the communication’s regulator- Uganda Commissions Commission (UCC) to ‘step up’ and act.
And on Tuesday millions of the social media site users woke up to dismay.
UCC remains tight-lipped about the shutdown.
“Given the impending election in Uganda, we moved quickly to investigate and take down this network,” Facebook said in a statement on Monday, adding the decision was linked to the government ministry of information and communications technology.
The letter noted that disruptions to internet access would undermine journalists’ ability to report on the election and would infringe on citizens’ right to “key information at a crucial moment in a democracy, damaging their capacity to make informed choices.”
It also expressed concern about Ugandan authorities’ recent requests to Google to shut down YouTube channels affiliated with the country’s political opposition.
It remains unclear if Facebook will remain disabled in Uganda after the election until government officials’ accounts are reactivated.