• Sri Lanka explosions: Sri Lanka shuts down social media in wake of Easter attacks

    By: Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    Tourists had to quickly share if they were OK on social media as guides warned that state officials were going to temporarily cut access to social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, in the wake of the attacks in Sri Lanka.

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    Because of a history of racial violence, the country pre-emptively blocked the networks to thwart the spread of misinformation, The New York Times reported

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told residents not to believe rumors being shared online, the Times reported. 

    The Sri Lanka Red Cross also warned users that reports that its building were attacked were false.

    “Please refrain from spreading unauthentic and false information on Social Media,” the agency said.

    The social media platforms have been used in the past to spread rumors and incite violence. Last year, violence against Muslims swept through small towns because of social media posts about attacks against Buddhists.

    Explosions hit multiple churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people and injuring hundreds more. 

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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