Sri Lanka blocks social media to halt rumors

Sri Lanka on Monday blocked social media networks and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp to deter spread of rumors.

According to a Colombo-based newspaper Daily Mirror, the step was taken after attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in the unrest since Easter bombings by militants.

“The decision to ban social media sites had been taken in an effort to stop the spread of rumors following the violence that erupted in Chilaw and Kuliyapitiya towns on [Sunday] evening,” the newspaper reported, quoting the statement issued by the Sri Lankan government information department.

Sri Lanka’s leading mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata Plc informed its users on twitter that it had received instructions to block the apps like Viber, IMO, Snapchat, Instagram and Youtube as well, until further notice.