How Did Sri Lanka Respond?

April 27, 2019

On Easter Sunday, there were multiple terrorist attacks in the country of Sri Lanka. As news about the attacks flooded the mainstream media, the Sri Lankan government did something unusual: It shut down social media services such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Why might the government have done something so out of the ordinary? Well, authorities were worried that false news would spread across the country, which might then cause further chaos and tension.

The reactions to this social media shutdown were divided. On one hand, social media is seen as a great way for people to check in with each other and post updates for friends and family. On the other hand, social media can also be a vehicle for spreading rumors, which could actually interfere with the government’s investigations.

Sri Lanka was also scrutinized for the government’s lack of action when they received warnings before the attack. Authorities are investigating why the government failed to act while still trying to uncover more details about the attack.

What do you think? Does social media help or hinder during tragic times?