Social media major Twitter on Wednesday (13 January) blasted east African nation Uganda for its ban on social media apps ahead of the election in the country, saying that the “public conversation” on social media platforms is “never more important than during democratic process”.
“Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that Internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps. We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet,” Twitter said in a statement.
Twitter said that earlier this week, it had suspended a number of accounts targeting the election in Uganda.
“Access to information and freedom of expression, including the public conversation on Twitter, is never more important than during democratic processes, particularly elections,” it added.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni had on Tuesday (12 January) banned all social media apps including Facebook and Twitter, in the country accusing them of taking sides in the upcoming election on Thursday (14 January).
The statement from Twitter, which banned US President Donald Trump last week and had earlier suspended account of New York Post for doing an expose on President-elect Joe Biden’s son, sparked an outrage on the social media, with some users slamming the company for its hypocrisy on “Freedom of Expression”.
“You banned the sharing of accurate journalism that was negative for your preferred candidate during the 2020 election, an egregious tampering with freedom of expression and the public conversation in the midst of an important democratic process,” said a Twitter user.
Another Twitter user lambasted the social media platform for engaging in hypocrisy surrounding the freedom of expression.