Facebook says that the deleted Ugandan accounts were shutdown over the Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB).
Facebook has given a reason for their move to delete accounts belonging to some Ugandan government officials and NRM bloggers.
According to the statement from the head of communication for sub- Saharan Africa, Kezia Anim-Addo, Facebook says that the deleted accounts were shutdown over the Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB).
“This month we removed a network of accounts and pages in Uganda that have engaged in CIB (coordinated inauthentic behavior) to target public debate ahead of the election,” Kezia said in a statement.
“They used fake and duplicate accounts to manage pages, comment on other people’s content, impersonate users, re share posts in groups to make them appear more popular that they were,” the statement read.
Anim-Addo said that the network was linked to the government ministry of information and communications. He also added that since Uganda’s election is looming in the corner they decided to move in and pull down the listed pages.
“Given the impending election in Uganda we moved quickly to investigate and take down this network and its pages,” Anim said.
Supporters of the National Resistance Movement have described the recent purge on their pages on Facebook and Twitter as a way of violating the freedom of speech and expression. This move saw tens of pro-government pages deleted and others suspended permanently.
The purge started on the weekend and this saw vocal NRM supporters pages deleted which included that of Ashburg Kato, Presidential adviser on youth matters Jennifer Full Figure and other several pro-government Facebook accounts being affected.
Three pro-government Twitter pages were also deleted without being given any warnings. Commenting on the suspensions the Presidential Press Secretary Don Wanyama described the move by Facebook and Twitter as a trend intended to stifle voices of pro-NRM supporters and favour those at the opposition.
“Big techs like Twitter and Facebook are being used by the opponents of NRM to stifle prom NRM voices in Uganda. They should un freeze accounts they froze. We pray UCC is watching and can act to ensure a fair digital playfield,” Wanyama said.
Ashburg Kato claimed that his account was deleted by Facebook at the request of the National Unity Platform presidential candidate Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi wine’s handlers in the United States of America.
Last week Twitter and Facebook also suspended and deleted accounts belonging to the United States President Donald Trump.