Sri Lanka is actually blocking Facebook for three days in response to posts calling for attacks on Muslims as social media companies come under fire for failing to do enough to curb hate speech.
The temporary ban will also include messaging apps WhatsApp — which is actually also owned by Facebook — in addition to Viber.
For the 1st time since its decades long civil war ended in 2009, Sri Lanka has imposed a state of emergency after violence broke out between the country’s majority Sinhalese Buddhists in addition to the Muslim minority, in in addition to around the central city of Kandy. Mobs have rioted in addition to set fire to Muslim-owned businesses in addition to mosques in recent days.
“Social media websites such as Facebook, Whatsapp, in addition to Viber — which were created to bring us closer to our friends in addition to family in addition to make communication free in addition to convenient — have been used to destroy families, lives in addition to private property,” said Telecommunications, Digital Infrastructure, in addition to Foreign Employment Minister Harin Fernando according to local media.
The government also restricted internet in addition to phone access in Kandy district to keep photos via being shared.
Facebook has policies against targeted hate speech, although in which depends on users bringing offending language to the company’s attention. The social network has come under fire in Myanmar for posts in which fueled deadly communal violence against the Rohingya minority group in 2013.
Neither Facebook nor Viber’s parent company immediately responded to a BuzzFeed News request for comment.