Social media: Sri Lanka’s ban enters its second day

Social media: Sri Lanka's ban enters its second day

The federal government on Sunday cited “false information experiences” it mentioned have been circulating on-line when asserting its drastic step.

Fb, WhatApp, Instagram, YouTube, Viber, and Snapchat, have been all nonetheless blocked on Monday, based on the web monitoring group NetBlocks.

Some Sri Lankans turned to digital personal networks, which can be utilized to get round on-line bans. NetBlocks discovered Monday that no less than one in style VPN service was being blocked. CNN Enterprise was involved with a Fb person in Kandy, a metropolis in central Sri Lanka, on Monday who was in a position to entry the service by a unique VPN.

The shutdown, which the federal government mentioned Sunday can be non permanent, highlights the challenges the world’s strongest tech firms face in curbing the unfold of misinformation and propaganda within the aftermath of terrorist assaults. It additionally raises questions of censorship and the power of governments to show off the world’s hottest web sites.

Fb got here beneath intense scrutiny simply final month when the suspect within the New Zealand terror assault streamed dwell video of the bloodbath on Fb. The corporate didn’t take away the video till after New Zealand police contacted the corporate.

The social media block didn’t seem to use to Twitter (TWTR), which was functioning as regular, based on web monitoring teams and customers within the nation. Twitter is just not as extensively used as Fb and WhatsApp in Sri Lanka, based on Sanjana Hattotuwa, senior researcher on the Centre for Coverage Options in Colombo.
A spokesperson for Fb (FB), which additionally owns Instagram and WhatsApp, instructed CNN Enterprise on Sunday, “We’re conscious of the federal government’s assertion relating to the non permanent blocking of social media platforms. Individuals depend on our providers to speak with their family members and we’re dedicated to sustaining our providers and serving to the group and the nation throughout this tragic time.”
The spokesperson mentioned Fb had been working to help legislation enforcement in Sri Lanka and to establish content material that violates the corporate’s requirements.

“A couple of years in the past we would view the blocking of social media websites after an assault as outrageous censorship; now we consider it as important responsibility of care, to guard ourselves from menace,” Ivan Sigal, the chief director of World Voices, a world journalism and digital advocacy group, tweeted after the block was introduced. “Fb your own home is just not so as,” he mentioned on Twitter.

Google (GOOGL), YouTube’s dad or mum firm, and Snap (SNAP), proprietor of Snapchat, didn’t reply to CNN’s request for remark.
On Sunday, Viber posted on its official Twitter account, “We encourage everybody to be accountable and depend on updates from official and trusted sources.”

— CNN’s David Williams contributed to this report.

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