A coordinated series of attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka resulted in the death of more than 200 people and injuries at least to 450.
In response to the attack, the Sri Lankan government has restricted access to various Social Media, such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Youtube, according to local media and website Netblocks.
Confirmed: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Viber, Snapchat and Messenger are blocked #SriLanka following series of deadly church and hotel attacks; incident ongoing #EasterSundayAttacksLK #KeepItOn (I.e.https://t.co/xp4hSxvFOi pic.twitter.com/dcQ6COsWKB
- NetBlocks (@netblocks) April 21, 2019
Local media reported that the government has blocked Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber and YouTube, while the authorities have also banned circulation in the country.
Presidential adviser Harindra Dassanayake told The New York Times that "it was a unilateral decision" and was made as there were concerns that the attacks would spark waves of widespread misinformation, hate speech and violence. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
The move is not unprecedented in the country, which last year was experiencing misinformation on Facebook, and temporarily banned the connection to Social Media.
Recall that Facebook and other social platforms have been used in recent years to spread misinformation, something the company has admitted and is trying to limit. Countries like India have proposed new regulations to force companies to do more to fight the problem.