Government officials in Sri Lanka have ordered some social networks to shut down in order to help curb extremist violence in the country. Anonymous sources told ABC News that the blockage of social networks specifically targets Facebook, Instagram, Viber and WhatsApp. In Colombo, some are blocked wholesale while some others have apparently been slowed down considerably. In order to help counter the attacks, officials are using the traditional tactics, such as initiating a curfew.
Sri Lanka isn’t the first country to initiate such protocols either. Turkey has done similar in the past, such as censoring tweets and condemning social media as “the worst menace to society.”
Congo late last year ordered cuts to the internet and SMS to slow down protestors in the country. Less than a day after this instance, Iranian officials started blocking mobile access to Instagram and Telegram. It’s unfortunate that reports of free speech being toned down by local governments continue to come to light.