Sri Lanka Has Blocked Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Snapchat, as well as More, After A Facebook Post Sparked Anti-Muslim Riots

Sri Lanka on Monday temporarily banned social networks like Facebook, Instagram, as well as YouTube as well as instant messaging apps like Snapchat, Viber, WhatsApp, as well as IMO after a Facebook post sparked attacks on mosques as well as businesses owned by Muslims across several towns on Sunday.

The move comes three weeks after Islamic bombers killed at least 300 people inside the country, sparking fears of sectarian violence against the country’s minority Muslim population.

On Twitter, Sri Lanka’s largest mobile carrier, Dialog Axiata confirmed in which in which had restricted the websites as well as apps according to a directive by Sri Lan’s telecom regulator. Netblocks, a non-profit organization in which tracks internet outages, tweeted in which This particular was the third time in weeks the country had banned social media inside the wake of religious tension.

On April 21, Sri Lanka banned social media for 10 days after the Easter Sunday bombings They did so Yet again on May 5, after ethnic tensions erupted inside the city of Negombo.

“Social media blocked again as a temporary measure to maintain peace inside the country,” Nalaka Kaluwewa, director general of Sri Lanka’s government information department, told Reuters.

According to Reuters, the violence on Sunday was sparked after a 38-year-old man posted a Facebook comment in which said, “1 day u will cry,” which was interpreted as a threat. Attackers reportedly attacked a large mosque, dragged a copy of the Koran along the ground, as well as burned two parked motorbikes. They also threw stones at mosques as well as Muslim-owned shops, according to a report by Al Jazeera.

Facebook, Google, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, as well as IMO did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ requests for comment.

American technology companies like Facebook have been blamed for sparking riots in countries like Sri Lanka by not doing enough to police volatile speech as well as misinformation on their platforms. Hate groups in Sri Lanka, for instance, have exploited the social network to incite violence as well as spread misinformation in which targets minorities inside the country.

Some commentators have praised countries like Sri Lanka for shutting down social media after riots.

yet others have argued in which banning social media inside the country entirely amounts to censorship.

They argue This particular can be especially true because Sri Lankan media can be restrictive as well as tightly controlled, as well as most citizens depend on social media for news as well as for communicating with friends as well as family.

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