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Facebook officials begin suspending accounts of activists ahead of Cameroon’s Presidential election

Following the visit of two Facebook officials to Cameroon earlier this month, the company has begun suspending the accounts of some notorious Cameroonian activists at home and abroad.

One of the notorious activists, Paul Chouta is the latest victim of the Facebook-Cameroon Government pact aimed at sealing accounts of activists exposing some Governmental shortcomings.

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In a statement released on Tuesday, Auguts 28, 2018, Chouta told hundreds of thousands of his followers of the decision by the American-based company to shut down his account for a month.
“Dear internet users, just to inform you that few hours ago the Facebook team has decided to block my main account without prior information for a period of 30 days. One of the reasons presented is that I have infringed the rules of operation of the social media platform,” Chouta said.

The renowned activist also announced that the accounts of other comrades including France-based Cameroonian activist, JP Remy Ngono and Boris Bertolt have also been suspended by the Facebook team. “Recall that few days ago I announced the suspension of the account of Journalist and activist, J Remy Ngono after that of my friend and brother Boris Bertolt,” Chouta stated.

All these moves are happening after the Facebook team paid a nine day working visit to Cameroon during which they had working sessions with officials of the Ministries of Communication, Defence, National Gendarmerie, Justice and the Police.
According to the Director of the Civil Cabinet at the Presidency, Samuel Mvondo Ayollo, the aim was to fight against what he termed “Fake News” before the October 7 Presidential election. However, whenever these accounts are blocked the activists immediately create new accounts and continue with the same activism.

While Chouta was announcing the suspension of his account, he also informed his followers of the creation of another account and indicated that within hours of creation not less than 27,000 persons had already subscribed to the account.

Activists like Paul Chouta, Boris Bertolt, JP Remy have been the prime channels through which Government secrets are sold to the public.

They were some of the first persons to expose military brutality in the North and even in the Anglophone Regions. They have become a canal of transmission of events from the Anglophone zones to the Francophone public as they have hundreds of thousands of online followers.
Even before the Facebook team visited Cameroon, prominent Ambazonia activists like Mark Bareta and Tapang Ivo saw their main accounts suspended for some time.

With over 3 million Cameroonian subscribers, Facebook has become one of the fastest ways of communication and top Government secrets are being divulged on the platform on a daily basis. Even in villages without radio and television signal nor electricity, Facebook is readily available and whatever happens in these interiors is sold to the wider world within seconds.

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