Burundi government shuts down popular social media platforms

On 20 May 2020, Burundi shut down popular social media platforms WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, as well as Yahoo! Mail due to fear of violence during and after the presidential and legislative elections taking place that day. Less popular platforms in Burundi such as YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter remained operational.

There was no official statement from the government, but Willy Nyamitwe, the president’s communication advisor, stated in a tweet that contrary to rumours, the Internet was not shut down.

The elections took place amid the Coronavirus pandemic with no social distancing at the polling stations; however, voters were obliged to wash their hands before voting.