Cuba restricts access to Facebook and messaging apps amid protests – internet watchdog


July 13 (Reuters) – Cuba has restricted access to social media and messaging platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Telegram, since Monday, global internet monitoring company NetBlocks said on Tuesday, amid widespread publicity. anti-government protests.

London-based NetBlocks said on its website that social networks and messaging platforms in Cuba were still partially disrupted on Tuesday, which was “likely to limit the flow of information from Cuba.”

The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Telegram and Facebook Inc, which own Instagram and WhatsApp either. Social platform Twitter Inc said it had found no blocking of its service.

Thousands of Cubans took part in demonstrations in Havana and Santiago on Sunday to protest Cuba’s economic crisis and the handling of the pandemic, with some calling for an end to communism.

The introduction of mobile internet two and a half years ago is a key driver of the protests in Cuba, giving Cubans a greater platform to voice their frustrations and allowing the word to pass quickly when people are in the area. street.

Reuters witnesses in the capital said on Tuesday they still had no mobile data.

Mobile internet outages have increased this year. Network monitoring firm Kentik said it observed that the entire country was offline for less than 30 minutes around 4 p.m. Sunday, at the height of the protests in Havana.

Social media platforms face increasing demands from governments around the world to remove certain content and in some cases have their services restricted or banned during times of protests.

On June 4, Nigeria announced that it had suspended Twitter indefinitely in the country, days after the platform removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari.

Reporting by Sarah Marsh, Nelson Acosta and Reuters TV in Havana, Sheila Dang and Elizabeth Culliford in New York; Editing by Richard Chang

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