Facebook blocked pro-NRM accounts ahead of 2021 elections for poor behavior

Facebook has responded in a statement about the events that occurred to the pro-NRM accounts. The tech-giant said, “Given the impending election in Uganda, we moved quickly to investigate and take down this network.

Over the weekend, a number of accounts and pages on Facebook-owned by pro-NRM bloggers, Government officials, supporters and members of the ruling party were taken down. It was claimed that they were banned as a result of spreading propaganda and hateful speech.

Also read: Pro-NRM Facebook accounts have been blocked for using hate speech.

It added, ‘We found this network to be linked to the Government Citizens Interaction Center at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology”.

The social media platform accuses the owners of the pro-NRM accounts of using the platform in an unethical manner which provoked it to act accordingly. Any campaigns that seek to manipulate public debate through the platform shall not be allowed to carry through with this behavior, according to Quartz Africa.

“They used fake and duplicate accounts to manage pages, comment on other people’s content, impersonate users, re-share posts in groups to make appear more popular than they were” the tech-giant also said.

Minister of Information and Technology, Judith Nabakooba when contacted said she needed more time to study the situation before commenting.

Many of those affected claimed that these actions are to aid the opposition and suppress the freedom of those that support the ruling government. There were no rules broken they say and their accounts should be unblocked.

Owners of pro-NRM accounts currently blocked.

Those affected are pro-NRM blogger Ashburg Katto, Jenniffer Full figure, President’s press secretary Don Wanyama, Isma Olaxess, Duncan Abigaba of GCIC (Government Citizen Interaction Center), events promoter Bajjo, ChimpReports, Dickens Okello of ChimpReports and many more accounts belonging to civil servants.

The President’s senior press secretary took to Twitter to complain about the unfair manner in which they’ve been treated by the tech-giant. He’s Instagram and Facebook accounts are currently blocked.
Minister of Labour, Gender and Social Development cries foul at the actions of Facebook, accuses them of manipulation.

As Uganda goes to the polls on 14th January, these social media events seem to be causing a lot of tension and uncertainty of the future ahead when it comes to using the internet. Currently Uganda is the only country with no access to the App store and Google Play Store and for other people, almost all social media apps and others like YouTube are inaccessible without the use of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks).

READ: The new Electoral Commission guidelines limit use of cameras and other devices ahead of UG 2021 elections.

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