Facebook blocks could open the door to online censorship

On Easter Sunday, in the wake of devastating attacks that killed over 300 people, Sri Lanka shut down a large portion of its internet. President’s secretary Udaya Seneviratne said officials had decided to “temporarily block” sites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Viber until investigations concluded — something they claimed was a precautionary measure to curb misinformation. In a statement, Seneviratne said that they “decided to temporarily block social media sites,” and planned to reinstate them as soon as investigations into the events were completed.

It’s part of a larger pattern of censorship and media coercion in Sri Lanka and abroad. The country has spent years…

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