As news broke Sunday that multiple blasts in Sri Lanka had killed and injured hundreds, the country’s officials announced that social media would be blocked to avoid the spread of rumors and disinformation.
Facebook and Instagram were among the platforms temporarily shut down, according to the Sri Lankan government news portal. Websites that track blocked platforms said the ban extended to WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, and many more.
A statement from the Sri Lankan president’s office, posted to the country’s official news website said that “the decision to block social media was taken as false news reports were spreading through social media.”
“The statement added that security forces were conducting comprehensive investigations into the incidents of explosions and that the blockage would be effective until investigations were concluded,” the website said.
Officials made 13 arrests following the bombings by Sunday evening local time, but did not release names
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