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Uganda blocks access to social media 2 days before elections

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Uganda blocks access to social media 2 days before elections

The government of Uganda has blocked users access to major social sites in the country ahead of hotly contested general elections that will happen on January 14th 2021.

Restriction to the internet started on weekend with reduced speed and failure for media to play especially videos on Facebook and Instagram. On Tuesday however, major social sites including Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and Youtube cannot be accessed with has left users stack.

People are currently accessing social media using third apps applications known as VPN to access blocked sites which have become part of people’s daily life.

Total internet blackouts have also been reported especially by Airtel Uganda users and also some MTN users who are unable to access the internet at certain hours on January 12, 2021.

Uganda first restricted social media on the voting day February 18, 2016 and did not enable access until when presidential results were announced 72 hours later. The government restricted access to internet on the swearing day of President Museveni who was by then starting a term to extend his rule to 35 years.

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In 2018, the government introduced Over The Top Tax which was meant to reduce and limit the usage of social media in the country. The country has now besides thee restrictions decided to switch off social media access.

The Uganda Communications Commission – UCC who are the regulators of internet usage and regulators of internet providers in Uganda hasn’t made any official communication about the social media blackout.

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