Uganda Rumored To Want Facebook Blocked

By Jackie Cohen Comment

Rumor has it that Uganda’s government wants to block access to Facebook and Twitter, but local Internet service providers appear to be resisting any such request.

This rumor is circulating on other social networks based in Uganda — and, yes, it’s news to us that the African nation has any local alternatives to Facebook and Twitter.

MTN Uganda, the leading Internet service provider in the country, has Tweeted that the company will not block access to Facebook and Twitter; but the wording of these posts implies that the ISP may have rebuffed a censorship request by the government.

Uganda has recently erupted in protests, and any desire to block Facebook access mirrors how governments in nations further north have reacted to national uprisings planned through social media.

Whether it’s actually true or just a rumor that Ugandan officials truly want to handle local unrest by blocking Internet access is almost beside the point. People have come to expect government to at least try to censor Facebook when citizens are revolting. We’ve also seen in many of the nations that have had uprisings that trying to prevent people from using social media is futile.

Readers, what do you think about the rumored desire by Uganda’s government to block Facebook in the nation?