As protests in Venezuela — which were recently banned, spurring further unrest — ramp up, the nation’s government has blocked its citizens from seeing photos on Twitter, the microblogging service said today. The move aims to keep users from accessing images from the protests, stifling news and the spread of information.
State-controlled media in Venezuela has shown a carefully crafted portrayal — or lack thereof — of its nation’s unrest, prompting citizens to take to Twitter and other social media outlets, where they can simultaneously share and browse updates and images from fellow Internet goers in the area. It is this activity that has prompted the blocked access.
Residents have been reporting for a couple days now that they’re unable to see images on Twitter, though others have elaborated that they can see them when using their mobile data connection but not over WiFi. Venezuela’s Cantv phone company — which is run and controlled by the state — has denied blocking images.
As long as the images are blocked, those in the region are left with little choice but to use a VPN or a mobile data connection to see the images. Twitter is also encouraging those in the area to sign up for text message updates while the media blackout is in place.