Social media and messaging apps restored in Sri Lanka


Apr 30, 2019 (LBO) – Access to social media and messaging apps is being restored in Sri Lanka on the ninth day after the services were blocked as a security measure following a series of terror attacks, according to the latest NetBlocks network data.

The restoration appears to be in progress and is as yet only partially in effect at the time of writing.

Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Viber, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, as well as VPN services used to circumvent censorship, were restricted after the deadly bombings, which targeted churches and hotels.
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The restoration of access is not yet complete, and NetBlocks data shows that access remains restricted with some providers, including Sri Lanka Telecom, while Dialog Axiata users have been the first to start regaining access.

The new NetBlocks findings, collected with assistance from volunteers across Sri Lanka, corroborate user reports that platforms are starting to become available.

Concerns had been raised over the impact on citizens’ ability to communicate and impart information in the midst of the crisis.

In the aftermath of the attacks, Sri Lankan internet users and the families of international visitors complained of difficulty checking up on the wellbeing of friends and family.

Sri Lanka previously blocked social media for just over one week after violence broke out in March 2018.

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