Sri Lanka restricts access to social media sites following terror attack

A series of attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka this morning killed at least 200 people and wounded at least 450 people. In response to this attack, the Sri Lankan government restricted access to several social media sites, including Facebook, Whatsapp, and Youtube, via local media and monitoring sites Netblocks (via ).

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The site appears to have blocked the government from Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber and YouTube, and authorities have announced curfews in the country. Harindra Dassanayake, an advisor to the New York Times said that "this is a one-sided decision," and worried that the attack would lead to widespread misunderstandings, hate speech, and additional waves of violence. If the ban is withdrawn, it is not immediately obvious.

It is unprecedented that last year, rioting on false information about Facebook and a riot on a temporarily banned site.

Facebook and other social media platforms have recently been watched for their role in misinformation and fake spread of violence, and the company acknowledges lack of efforts to contain them. Countries like Myanmar and India have proposed new rules that try and force companies to do more to solve problems.

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