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Sri Lanka banned social media again overnight after ethnic tensions in Negombo; ban now lifted

The Sri Lankan government temporarily banned access to social media services again to control the spread of misinformation following ethnic tensions in Negombo, one of the cities targeted in the Easter Sunday bombings last month. However, according to a Sri Lankan government news portal, the ban was lifted this morning: "The temporary ban on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook has already been lifted, Nalaka Kaluwewa Director General of the Government Information Department announced short while ago." Internet monitoring site Netblocks had confirmed at 10:30 pm last night that social media services Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube, and messaging services Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber were inaccessible. The social media ban lasted a little over 10 hours this time, and access was restored at 8:45 am today. Urgent: Social media and messaging apps blocked again in #SriLanka amid ethnic violence in #Negombo; Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Viber currently disrupted according to network data; incident ongoing #KeepItOnhttps://t.co/hvONwm8rOH pic.twitter.com/J0rrG3tMOB — NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) May 5, 2019 Social Media platforms have been blocked as a short term measure to prevent the spread of false information - Government Information Department confirms to @newsradiolk #SriLanka #LKA #Negombo #SocialMedia #FakeNews pic.twitter.com/xLl51Drwqy — Sri Lanka Tweet ?? (@SriLankaTweet) May 5, 2019 Sri Lanka had earlier banned access to social media to control misinformation after the Easter Sunday bombings, and lifted the ban after 10 days on April 30th. The government did not block VPN services in last night's social media ban. Further, other services including Twitter, Telegram, and…

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