In today’s edition of our newsletter, TC Daily, we reported on Facebook shutting down several accounts belonging to Ugandan officials for “the use of multiple Facebook or Instagram assets, working in concert to engage in inauthentic behaviour where the use of fake accounts is central to the operation.”
In response, Don Wanyama, Senior Press Secretary to Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, tweeted this yesterday:
It appears the Ugandan Communications Commission (UCC) was watching. In a letter, as seen by Reuters, the commission directed all internet service providers in the country to “immediately suspend any access and use, direct or otherwise, of all social media platforms and online messaging applications over your network until further notice.”
The country’s presidential elections are set to hold on Thursday, January 14, and social media has been a tool used by the people of Uganda to make their voices heard.
On Twitter, the hashtags #KeepItOn #LetTheNetWork and #InternetShutdown have been used over time to communicate ways for people to bypass any restrictions. The tweet below by IvanPinno points to the fact that the Ugandan government anticipated this move.
One wonders what this means for transparency in the upcoming elections as Ugandans may be forced to the booths away from the world’s eye.