Sri Lanka Bombings: Government Blocks Social Media After Easter Sunday Attacks

Sri Lankan authorities blocked most social media Following Easter Sunday Strikes killed over 200 people, with officials saying the temporary Movement was meant to curtail the spread of false Data and ease tensions.

NetBlocks cautioned that these post-attack blackouts tend to be ineffective.

“What we have noticed is that when social media is closed down, it creates a vacuum of information that’s readily manipulated by other parties,” explained Alp Toker, executive manager of the London-based group. “It can increase the feeling of fear and can cause panic.”

The team said its observation of Sri Lankan net connectivity discovered no disruptions to the fundamental infrastructure of the world wide web, meaning that the blackout was directed at particular services. Some societal media outlets, such as Twitter, seemed unaffected, but the congestion influenced popular messaging services.

“That is likely to be a problem for people attempting to communicate with friends and family,” Toker said.

Some internet users are circumventing the social networking cubes by using a virtual private network, which pushes the location of a pc, Toker said.

It is not the first time Sri Lanka has blocked social media. The government imposed a weeklong ban in March 2018 due to concerns that WhatsApp along with other platforms were being used to fan anti-Muslim violence from the country’s central region.

An investigation by Sri Lankan researcher and writer Yudhanjaya Wijeratne of thousands of Facebook articles made during last year’s ban found that many Sri Lankans simply found ways about it. Wijeratne has recommended narrower and more”technically difficult” approaches to curbing hate speech, for example better detection and strengthening local laws.

Facebook, which possesses WhatsApp and Instagram, has fought recently to combat the use of its own platforms to incite violence and spread hate messages and governmental propaganda in nations including India, Myanmar and the United States.

“We are aware of the government’s statement regarding the temporary blocking of social media programs,” the company said. “People rely upon our services to speak with their loved ones and we’re dedicated to maintaining our services and assisting the community and the country during this tragic moment.”

Google did not respond to a request for comment about the disturbance to its own YouTube service in Sri Lanka. Requests for remark made to messaging services Snap and Viber were not returned Sunday.


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