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Twitter Photos Blocked In Venezuela, Users Say

A social media crackdown as protests threaten the government.

WASHINGTON — Twitter photos and videos appear to be blocked in Venezuela as the government there attempts to reassert control amid widespread public protests.

Three people were reportedly killed this week in massive student demonstrations in the capital Caracas, as protesters react to falling living standards. President Nicolas Maduro has called the protests a “neo-fascist” coup attempt, and sought the arrest of an opposition leader. The Venezuelan government has not commented on, or claimed credit for, the apparent Twitter block.

Venezuelans said on Twitter Thursday that they are unable to access certain images and avatar photos on the service, which has been used to rally the opposition. The problem appears to be affecting people who are using CANTV, the state-run internet provider, to access Twitter, though at least one Twitter user said another company was also affected. Venezuelan blogger Zahamira G. Cassis told BuzzFeed it is “completely true” that users were losing access to photos.

Venezuela has experienced violent large-scale protests against the government of Maduro this week, leaving at least three dead. Maduro has issued an arrest warrant for an opposition leader involved in leading the protests and claims that the protests are a coup attempt.

On Wednesday, Colombian television station NTN24 was taken off the air in Venezuela, its signal being cut during its reporting on the protests.

Representatives for Twitter did not immediately confirm whether Venezuelan users are unable to access images right now.

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