Uganda bans Twitter and Facebook over election interference allegations

Twitter, which has been facing a massive backlash across the world for stifling the freedom of speech by banning the sitting President of the United States Donald Trump over ideological issues, on Tuesday ironically posted a tweet condemning the Ugandan authorities blocking social media apps in the run-up to an election in the African country.

According to the reports, the Uganda government on Tuesday through the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has ordered internet service providers to block access to social media applications and websites. It was reported that Twitter and Facebook were trying to interfere in the elections by blocking certain pro-government voices.

Amidst the ongoing interference in the elections by the big-techs companies such as Twitter and Facebook, the Ugandan officials had ordered internet service providers to shut down social media and messaging applications on Tuesday. The move comes two days ahead of the country’s presidential election. The sitting president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni is facing a contest against opposition frontrunner and popular singer Bobi Wine.

Twitter, Facebook accused of election interference in Uganda

The decision to ban social media companies comes as retaliation after Facebook had arbitrarily deleted some government-linked accounts.

Facebook claimed that it removed the accounts for seeking to manipulate public debate ahead of the election, adding that they were tied to the Ministry for Information and Technology. Uganda struck back at Facebook and Twitter by banning them from the internet after they started censoring Uganda officials ahead of the elections.

Following the decision to ban to social media apps, the President of Uganda Yoweri K Museveni said, “these platforms should be used equitably, if you want to take any parts, then you can’t operate in Uganda, because Uganda is our country, we can’t accept them to decide who is good and who is bad.”

“I apologize that the Government of Uganda has closed Facebook in Uganda, this is very unfortunate but inevitable. If they are to operate here, they have to be equitable,” President Museveni added.

Taking to Twitter, the Ugandan government said, “We demand that Facebook & Twitter write directly to the individuals that lost their accounts. Since Facebook cited MoICT of Uganda in their statement, let them write to us so that there’s a chance for a fair hearing. Accounts lost on Facebook belong to the Government of Uganda employees.

Twitter outrages over ban, claims violated ‘human rights’

Following the temporary ban on social media apps in Uganda, Twitter ‘tweeted’ to condemn the Ugandan government’s action to stop tech giants interference in the elections.

Just days after arbitrarily banning US President Donald Trump, after months of stopping posts about alleged election fraud in the US, and literally carrying out a witch hunt against the outgoing US President to favour his opponent, Twitter flaunted its hypocrisy by claiming that ban on social media apps was nothing but ‘censoring speech’ and basic ‘human rights’ in an election.

The under-fire micro-blogging site posted a tweet saying, “Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps. We strongly condemn internet shutdowns- they are hugely harmful and violate basic human rights and the principles of #openinternet.”

Twitter also said that earlier this week in close coordination with their peers, they had suspended a number of accounts targeting the election in Uganda. If we can attribute any of this activity to state-backed actors, we will disclose to our archive of information operations, it added.

“Access to information and freedom of expression, including the public conversation on Twitter, is never more important than during democratic processes, particularly elections,” Twitter claimed in a tweet exposing its own hypocrisy over the issue of free speech on the internet.

Big-techs election interference in US Presidential elections and banning of POTUS Trump

Allegations of election interference by Big-tech became a huge issue in the run-up to the US Presidential elections last year after social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter along with Google began to censor and manipulate the accounts linked to conservatives and Republican party supporters, thus giving an unfair advantage for the radical left and Democrats to further their propaganda in the US elections.

Addition to that, Big Tech such as Facebook, Google and Twitter have made it very clear that they have Democrat-leaning bias and they work towards unjustly silencing Republican voices on their platforms.

After censuring his content, Twitter and Facebook also took an extreme step of banning the sitting President of United States – Donald Trump from its platforms citing that he had incited violence ahead of the Capitol Hill protests that erupted in Washington DC.

Source : OpIndia

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