Following a series of terror attacks targeting about 200 people this Sunday, April 21, the Sri Lankan government has decided to block access to all social networks on the national internet. In all, eight blasts were reported from three churches.
In an official statement, Udaya Seneviratne, the president's secretary, explained that the government "has decided to block access to social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, temporarily" in order to prevent the spread of false news about the attacks. Furthermore, it has also been underlined that these platforms will only be available once the investigations are completed.
In addition to Facebook and Instagram, there are reports that YouTube and WhatsApp are also not accessible.
Note that this is not the first time that an executive has resorted to the national blockade of social networks following protests, attacks or other political occurrences. Turkey and Iran are just two of the latest media examples.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Ruchika Budhraja, a spokeswoman for Facebook, said that the company was committed "to remove content that violated the policies of using the platform." Budhraja also said that the technology was aware of the temporary nature of the blockade, but recalled that users need the social network to communicate with their family and friends, and that the site is committed to maintaining its services at such a tragic time.