Sri Lanka lifts social media ban imposed after Easter bombings

Sri Lankans are able to sign into social media for the first time in over a week.

The country’s communications regulator said in a statement Tuesday that it had lifted a nationwide ban on social media imposed after deadly bombings on Easter Sunday killed over 200 people.

The government had said the temporary ban was necessary to prevent ” false news ” reports from circulating online. Instagram, WhatsApp , YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat were all affected.

The regulator urged people to use social media responsibly in its statement.

Social media firms have struggled to stem the spread of misinformation and propaganda following terror attacks. Facebook recently came under scrutiny after the New Zealand shootings were streamed live on the platform.

But shutting down access to the sites raised questions over censorship in Sri Lanka and the government’s ability to prevent the spread of misinformation. Many Sri Lankans were able to circumvent the restrictions by using VPNs .

This wasn’t the first time Sri Lanka had restricted access to social media.

The government temporarily blocked Facebook and other social platforms last year, saying they were being used to incite violence.

Aravinda Karunaratne contributed to this article.