BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — As the country gears up for the first-ever shutdown of the Internet, the Argentine Internet industry has been in a tailspin.
But with so many Internet service providers shutting down in the country, there are also fewer users to serve, so the Argentine government is scrambling to find ways to support the nation’s nascent Internet service industry.
In the early morning hours of Friday, the Ministry of Communications announced it had shut down some services, including a popular Twitter-like social media platform called Twitter Argentina.
That was followed by the shutdown of Facebook Argentina, the country’s largest social media company.
And the shutdown was expected to continue for the next day.
In a statement posted on Facebook Argentina’s Facebook page, Facebook said the shutdowns “are necessary to prevent a repeat of last year’s shutdown, in which users’ personal data was compromised and their accounts were used to launch criminal and terrorist operations.
In particular, this action is necessary to ensure the protection of the citizens of Argentina and the country against the terrorist attacks of October 2015.”
The company said it would be providing “technical assistance” to help restore access to its social media and the Twitter Argentina service.
Argentina is a Latin American country with a population of around 5.3 million.
In the U.S., Facebook has more than 1.3 billion users, and Twitter Argentina has more people than the U., China and Russia combined.
Facebook Argentina said the Internet shutdowns were necessary to protect its users, as well as to ensure their safety.
It also said the social media companies should make sure that their customers are using the services that were shut down.
Facebook Argentina said it had “no information whatsoever” that “a single person” had been targeted by the government for cyberattacks.
The company was forced to temporarily suspend the Twitter service because of the shutdown, but it’s still active.
Argentina’s telecommunications minister, Carlos Marcelino, said the government was “doing everything” to get the country online, but the country was “still in a state of shock.”
“The Internet is an important service for millions of Argentines, and we need to work to protect our networks, but this is not enough,” Marcelano said in a statement.