The Ugandan government has moved to block most social media outlets in that country, for fear of the use of these networking tools to force regime change.
Make no mistake, social media is a powerful weapon against tyranny. It works great to get a company to admit they are at fault or get a government to admit it is no longer worthy of serving its people. Whatever. the point is, when there is a problem, and social media is available to help solve it, the problem usually gets solved. Unfortunately in Uganda the government believes they can stop social media and therefore resist efforts to help their people live better lives. Given what has happened recently in the Middle East, this seems highly unlikely.
The closure of social media networks in Uganda comes only a month after the Cameroonian government banned social media. In Swaziland, social media networks were also banned early this month in a bid by the government to quell demonstrations over political reforms and the rising cost of living.
Social media is believed to have played a major role in uprisings in North Africa, including the popular movements that forced out Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Ben Ali of Tunisia.
The Ugandan government has come under increasing pressure over its economic policies. Through the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), the country’s telecom sector regulator, the Ugandan government has directed all ISPs to shut down social network platforms. While the use of social networks in neighboring countries including Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania is growing, Uganda has become the first country in the East African region to ban the use of social media.
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