Whatsapp and other social media apps are reportedly blocked in Zambia during the ongoing presidential elections on Thursday, as reported by digital rights organization Access Now and internet monitor NetBlocks.
Lusaka Times, a local Zambian news organization, writes that officials from Zambia’s Ministry of Information and Broadcast Services decided to bring down Whatsapp and other social media apps to avoid spreading wrong information about elections.
The sudden decrease in the traffic on Whastapp, Facebook, and Twitter confirmed that the government has taken the step, according to NetBlocks.
⚠️ Update: Real-time network data confirm that social media and messaging platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Messenger are now restricted in #Zambia on election day in addition to the earlier WhatsApp restriction #ZambiaDecides2021
Zambia’s presidential elections were followed by violence as President Edgar Lunga stands against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema in elections, according to Reuters. This led to a military crackdown from the current government.
Polls were closed as of 12 PM Eastern Time, but those who are still in line are allowed to cast the vote.
The blocking of social media should ensure voters’ security and safety. But now voters are now turning to VPN to get access to the apps.
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