Zimbabweans have woken up to quite the dark morning as access to the internet is now being limited to sites that can’t help the cause of the latest Shutdown Zimbabwe protests. Since the early hours of the morning access to Facebook and WhatsApp was being blocked by Internet Service Providers and it seems that block has now extended to Twitter as well.
For subscribers using ZOL, it seems access to Twitter is now among the things you can’t do with your internet this morning. Instagram access has also been blocked but when I last checked Instagram, it seems the people there are more interested in doing the viral 10-year challenge, than participating in anything to do with the current protests.
For some weird reason, TINDER HAS ALSO BEEN BLOCKED. I don’t know who comes up with these ideas but that’s what’s going on right now.
Essentially this social media block makes it 10 times harder for the outside world to see what’s actually happening in Zimbabwe and if there’s any government backed-brutality that will occur between now and whenever the internet is switched back on, there won’t be any evidence to prove any of this. It’s a bit of a surprising move and it harks back to the days of the old dispensation as these were the tactics they employed whenever there was unrest.
We are not yet sure if other providers such as NetOne have followed suit in blocking all of the social media platforms. We will confirm and update as we get more information.
Some have it worse
Some networks and providers have completely turned off the internet and Econet and TelOne have felt the full force of the block as they can’t access any service that requires internet access. This has affected normal browsing and more integral services such as EcoCash, which is the most popular method of transacting in the country right now. Maybe that’s not necessarily a big deal since most shops are closed anyway but the country has slowly but surely slowed to a halt in terms of productivity.