Savvy Ugandan voters turn to VPNs and Opera Mini as Facebook and Twitter remain blocked


It’s election day in Uganda, and there is already a problem. Facebook and Twitter are down. They were put down, it seems.

This is not a drill

The access blockade has put a serious crimp in the plans of transparency advocates who were counting on realtime and crowdsourced reports of the goings-on to keep things relatively free and fair. It could also cause more serious problems.

Apparently, traditional media is looking the other way

But savvy Ugandans are not letting the social media blockade hold them back. A lot of people can’t get online, but some people have access.

They are circumventing the networking restrictions with VPNs.

There is an app for that. And people are sharing.

Here is another one

Others are using Opera Mini, which seems to also have its way of getting past the restrictions.

Uganda’s digital natives refuse to be held back

The access workarounds do not guarantee that enough people will be able to distribute and more importantly, verify information about the ongoing elections as quickly as they should. But it’s a good thing that the blackout isn’t total, and that there is still some visibility into what is going on on the ground.

Photo Credit: Computechts via Compfight cc