Uganda shut down all social media in the country Tuesday after the country’s longtime leader Facebook accused of siding with In the upcoming presidential elections on Thursday.
President Yoweri Museveni, 76, apologized for the inconvenience caused by the ban, but said Uganda had no choice after Facebook removed several accounts linked to its campaign for re-election.
“If you want to side with (the ruling party), this group will not work in Uganda,” he said in a patriotic speech.
“We cannot tolerate this arrogance of anyone who comes to decide for us who is good and who is evil.”
Facebook said on Monday it had removed a network of accounts linked to the Ugandan Ministry of Information that had “used fake and duplicate accounts to manage pages, comment on other people’s content, impersonate users, and re-share posts in groups to make them appear more popular. Than they were.”
The social media giant did not immediately respond to the president’s comments on Tuesday, but Twitter, which also appeared affected by the ban, criticized the move.
“We strongly condemn the internet shutdowns – they are extremely harmful and violate basic human rights and the #OpenInternet principles,” She said in a statement.
“Access to information and freedom of expression, including public conversations on Twitter, is no more important than ever during democratic processes, especially elections.”
Several social media users were outraged by Twitter’s comments, stating that the company – which had recently done so Permanently hung President Trump’s account – He gagged the New York Post during the 2020 race over its reporting on Hunter Biden.
“What an amazing level of hypocrisy !!!” One person wrote.
“Amazing tweet. During the run-up to the elections in this country, Twitter shut down the New York Post because it disagreed with its news reporting. Another user commented.
Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986, is facing a challenge from popular singer and opposition lawmaker Bobby Wayne, who has attracted a large following among the country’s youth.
Wayne, 38, uses Facebook for live coverage of his campaigns and press conferences, saying that several media outlets – most of which are owned or run by state allies – have refused to host him.
The International Press Institute, a global media watchdog, has called on Uganda to restore social media.
“Any efforts to prevent the access of journalists or members of the public via the Internet are unacceptable violations of the right to information,” she said in a statement.