Will Facebook block Uganda over anti-gay bill?

Facebook is reportedly under pressure by gay rights activists in the United States to block Uganda from accessing the company’s social networking site, after the country tabled an anti-gay bill in parliament.

According to Bigeye.com, a top Ugandan website,  Facebook has already outlined a method that it will use to ban Facebook users in Uganda, saying it will release an official statement about that later.

Uganda has been for some time trying to pass an anti-gay bill, which would see stiffer penalties for those convicted in the illegal act in the East African country.

Just recently, a committee of Ugandan MPs endorsed the proposed Anti-Homosexual bill, but dropped the death penalty previously included in the bill.

According to the BBC, house Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said the bill would be passed as a “Christmas gift” to its advocates.

The bill proposed longer jail terms for homosexual acts, including a life sentence or death penalty in cases where one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive or disabled.

The death sentence was however dropped, with observers saying that the bill has a generally large support in the parliament. However for the bill to become law, Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni would have to sign it.

Foreign donors have already threatened to cut aid if gay rights are not respected in the country.

The bill has also received international condemnation including US President Barack Obama, who described it as “odious”.

Now, whether Facebook will go ahead and block the country or not, is a matter of wait-and-see.

Facebook has two options in blocking the country, which includes blocking any account that was opened in Uganda from being accessible to its users, or using MAC address to make it impossible for Ugandan devices from accessing the site.

Posted in: Internet

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