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Minister of Youth Affairs and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake in a tweet yesterday said that the recent ban on social media creates a negative impact on many industries including the IT, E-commerce and tourism sectors.

“Social media ban makes a negative impact on many industries. Apart from general frustration it creates, such blanket bans will take a heavy toll on the economy and hamper IT, E-comm & tourism sectors. What the government must promote is a responsible use of social media with checks and balances,” he said.

He urged the government to unblock the access to social media before it hampers the country’s economy.

“Blocking Facebook and messaging apps long term is not an option. Social Media must start functioning so that the economy doesn’t suffer. Therefore, access to Social Media must be unblocked ASAP and the Government must set in place a system to curtail hate speech and fake news,” he said.

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