Sri Lankan government has temporarily banned social media sites after a series of terror attacks in the country, killing over 200 people and injuring many more. As per the reports, eight devastating blasts ripped through hotels and churches holding Easter services.
Following the blast, the government of Sri Lanka has restricted access to several social media sites including Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Instagram to control the spread of any misinformation post attacks. The authorities have also issued a curfew in the country. “This was a unilateral decision and was taken over concerns that the attacks would trigger additional waves of widespread misinformation, hate speech, and violence,”Presidential advisor HarindraDassanayake told The New York Times.
The government informed that the service will be restored after the investigations into the attack are done. This isn’t the first time the government has taken such a decision. Last year, it temporarily banned social media sites after riots were fueled by misinformation on Facebook. Although the aim is to prevent the spread of false news, it appears to have taken away the freedom of expression and speech and also limiting mediums to communicate with loved ones.
This is a preventive measure by the government of Sri Lanka, as it understands that social media sites play a crucial role in the spread of misinformation and hoaxes that fuel violence and unnecessary tensions.