HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Twitter voices for free expression and information sharing in Uganda.
  • Twitter’s Public Policy condemns shutting off the Internet during the Uganda election.
  • Access to information and freedom of expression including public discussion is important during elections.
  • Many found the social media giant Twitter’s advocacy jarring after it banned the Twitter account of Trump.

Twitter is now voicing for free expression and information sharing in Uganda. The Government of Uganda has shut access to social media ahead of Presidential and Parliamentary elections on 14th January. On Tuesday 12th January, Twitter’s public policy issued a stern warning.

In a post Twitter’s Public Policy tweeted, “Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that Internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps,” it began. “We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of the Open Internet.” As per threads, Twitter suspended the accounts of “state backed actors” who were targeting the elections in Uganda, although the company did not relate specifics.

Access to information and freedom of expression including public discussion is very important during democratic processes, particularly during elections, stated Twitter’s Public Policy in another post.

Many found the social media giant Twitter’s advocacy jarring after it selectively suppressed tweets that were said to be ‘misinformation’ about Covid, blocked the New York Post’s main account after the newspaper published its bombshell report on Hunter Biden during election campaign and banned the Twitter account of US outgoing President Donald Trump.

Radio host Jason Rantz tweeted, “Twitter censored the world’s oldest newspaper from posting a story on the leading candidate for president & stopped us from sharing it. Then banned & sitting US president + allied accounts — after the party in charge asked them to.” Podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted, “They think you’re stupid”.

Previous week, Twitter stated that allowing Trump to return to Twitter risked “further incitement of violence.” Highlighting the tame tweets of US President Trump, of which one said he will not be attending the inauguration of Biden on January 20, Twitter said they had to view it in a wider context.

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