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Facebook Blocks Ugandan Government Accounts

Facebook has taken down a network in Uganda linked to the country’s ministry of information for using fake and duplicate accounts to post ahead of this week’s presidential election, the U.S. social media giant said on Monday. Ugandans vote on Thursday in an election pitting long-time leader Yoweri Museveni against 10 candidates including opposition frontrunner Bobi Wine, a singer-turned-lawmaker whose star power has rattled the ruling party. “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,” Facebook said in a statement. Uganda’s government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said Facebook had acted in a high-handed manner. Scores of opposition protesters have been killed during a campaign scarred by crackdowns on Wine’s rallies which the authorities say contravene curbs on gatherings to stop the spread of COVID-19. Opposition candidate Patrick Oboi Amuriat was arrested on Sunday outside Kampala. He was charged on Monday with traffic violations, released on bail and detained again by police as he returned to the capital, his aide, Ayub Kigongo, told Reuters.