January 28, 2021

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Facebook suspends Ugandan govt-linked accounts ahead of elections

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Social media giant, Facebook, said it has closed several accounts linked to Uganda’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology ahead of the country’s presidential election on Thursday.

In a statement on Monday, the company said it took the action because the affected accounts were being used for “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”.

“This month, we removed a network of accounts and pages in Uganda that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour to target public debate ahead of the election.

“We found this network to be linked to the Government Citizens Interaction Centre at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology in Uganda

“People have used fake and duplicate accounts to manage pages, comment on other people’s content, impersonate users and re-share posts in groups to make them appear more popular than they were.

“Given the impending election in Uganda, we moved quickly to investigate and take down this network,” Facebook said.

Uganda’s long-time President Yoweri Museveni is seeking re-election in a charged political environment.

ALSO READ: Ugandan military probing shooting that led to five deaths

He faces 10 challengers, including music star, Robert Kyagulanyi, best known by his stage name, Bobi Wine, seen as a real threat to him.

Facebook’s action comes amid reports of violence and misinformation by political actors especially on social media in the run-up to the elections.


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