Uganda blocked access to social media giant, Facebook, during the 2021 general elections after the company deleted hundreds of NRM supporters' accounts, which it suspected as fake.
Since then, Ugandan users have had to use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to access the platform as government talks with Facebook remain fruitless.
On Thursday last week, The Uganda Communications Commission confirmed that government continues to block Facebook access to Ugandans as negotiations remain futile.
According to the acting director of Industry and Content Development at UCC, ongoing talks with Facebook to ensure that it observes government requirements have yielded no results. As such, the platform will remain closed to Ugandans since it doesn’t offer a safety guarantee for all users.
However, the presenter of The Fatboy Show James Onen wondered what the essence of blocking Facebook is when people still access it.
“To the Uganda government and UCC, what is the point? Everyone interested in Facebook accesses it. It is just performative. You (UCC and the government) need to accept that Facebook has defeated you. You've only added an extra layer of inconvenience to Ugandans who have to subject themselves to the painful VPNs,” he commented.
His co-host Olive Najjuma added that Ugandans grapple with expensive internet charges and spend more as companies in Uganda use Facebook to promote their businesses.
“Seriously, should one man or a few people’s egos supersede the needs of everyone in the country? We need to use social media, but because some people’s egos got hurt, we have to suffer,” Olive complained.
According to the presenters, much as the government demands are not explicitly stated, it could be tasking Facebook to block information from the opposition and promote its own, something that the company may have refused to comply to.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.