Facebook has today suspended a number of accounts that belong to Ugandan government officials. These individuals currently face accusations of looking to manipulate public debate ahead of the Uganda elections to be held on Thursday, Facebook says.
The Museveni-led nation is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections after a rowdy and bloody campaign period. The incumbent President Yoweri Museveni is reported to face huge competition from former popstar, Bobi Wine, aged 38.
Facebook’s head of communication for sub-Saharan Africa wrote in an email, stating, “This month, we removed a network of accounts and pages in Uganda that engaged in CIB (Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour) to target public debate ahead of the election.”
“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 than they were.”
Anim-Addo Madden that the accounts were also linked to the ministry of information and communications technology.
“Given the impending election in Uganda, we moved quickly to investigate and take down this network.”
Among the officials who had their Facebook and Instagram accounts shut down was Museveni’s press secretary, Don Wanyama. The official was accused by the firm of trying to influence the election.
However, Mr Wanyama went to Twitter speaking against Facebook’s action. “Shame on the foreign forces that think they can aid and plant a puppet leadership on Uganda by disabling online accounts of (ruling party) NRM supporters,” he said on Twitter.
“You won’t take away President Kaguta Museveni”, his tweet went on.
Meanwhile, President Museveni’s is still intact despite many officials and member of the ruling party having their pages taken down.