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Somaliland shuts down social media to prevent high school exam leaks

July 04, 2018 at 09:22 am | News

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Head of Content

July 04, 2018 at 09:22 am | News

Somaliland high school exam -- Photo: halbeeg.com

The self-declared independent state of Somaliland is implementing its planned two-hour social media shutdown from Monday to Thursday this week in an effort to curb high school exam paper leaks.

The government made the announcement ahead of the autonomous Somali state’s high school exams saying the shut down will prevent exam irregularities, the spread of fake papers and false rumours, local media halbeeg.com reported on Tuesday.

“It’s a temporary measure which will run for hours when the students are sitting for the exam papers. Social media has proven to be a threat to the examinations,” says the Somaliland Minister for Telecommunication and Technology, Abdiweli Sheikh Ibrahim, who added that the blocked sites included Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, IMO, and Viber.

This is the second time in eight months that internet has been shut down in the country which has a population of 4 million.

During their presidential election held November last year, social networking sites were shut down for days starting from the election day to the day the results were announced.

Uganda, Congo, Chad, Gabon, Niger, and Gambia had earlier blocked internet connection during their elections last year. The blockade did not reduce controversies during those elections.

Last month, Algeria also shut down its mobile and fixed internet connections for days as high school students began their exams. The whole country went offline for several hours each day to prevent cheating.

A similar move was carried out by Ethiopia in 2017 during its mandatory national high school exams.

Below are some reactions to Somaliland’s decision to cut off social media.

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