Use of VPN to access Facebook

Government is in talks with Facebook to make it easier for Ugandans to access the social media platform.

Ugandans have used VPN to access the biggest social media platform Facebook since it was banned in January ahead of the polls.

Facebook an American social media platform owned by Mark Zuckerberg, closed the accounts of some NRM supporters like Ashburg, Bajjo and Full Figure among others.

President Yoweri Museveni then moved to ban the American social media company accusing the company of operating in the country ‘inequitably’.

Museveni then charged: “There is no way anybody can come and play around with our country and decide who is good, who is bad. Facebook decided to block NRM message centers. Why would anyone do that? I told my people to close it. If it is to operate in Uganda, it should be used equitably.”

Citizens have since continued to use VPN. Irritated Kilak South, Member of Parliament, Gilbert Olanya took to the floor of Parliament on Thursday afternoon to question the continued use of VPN to access Facebook and demanded explanation from the Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi.

Dr. Baryomunsi in response to Olanya, revealed that the Uganda Communications Commission UCC is in talks with Facebook on the modalities.

Facebook on closed accounts

Facebook issued a statement in January ahead of the Uganda general elections closing a couple of what it called ‘fake and duplicate accounts’.

The social media giant wrote: “We found this network to be linked to the government Citizens Interaction Center at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology in Uganda.”

The company added: “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.”

Government blocked social media platforms Facebook and Twitter during the 2016 election for a couple days, paving way for the use of VPN among her citizens.