To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to appeal our group’s closure by Google.My name is Abbey Semuwemba and I’m the founder of the Ugandans At Heart(UAH) group hosted on Google at: http://groups.google.co.uk/group/ugandans-at-heart. The group has been operational since 2007 and it is devoted to matters of interest to Ugandans and East Africans. We discuss political, social, economic, technological and healthy issues affecting Uganda as a nation. It has a membership of 15221 people consisting of politicians in Uganda, journalists, diplomats, Ugandans in exile, Security officers in Uganda, Members of Parliament, e.t.c.
Yesterday on 27th April 2015, we learned that the group had been closed because it ”has been identified as containing spam, malware or other malicious content. Content in this group is now limited to view-only mode for those with access”. This is the first time we have been accused of something like that such that we would specifically wish to know what we are accused of.
It was a shock to all of us considering that most of the regular members of this specific group are outstanding members of the community, and think hard before they post anything to the group considering that some of our content ends up in print media and other social medias.
The UAH has got guidelines which every member reads as soon as they join the forum, and we make it a point to post the guidelines at least monthly as a reminder to all new members. These guidelines can be accessed too on our site at: http://ugandansatheart.org/ugandans-at-heartuahforum/
I admit, some posts upset some of our members especially if they seem not to agree with certain facts or theories, but this has always been the case in most political and historical debates anywhere in the world. Yes,one of our members has been running series of the violence during Obote 1 and 2, and some Acholis and Langis(members from Obote’s tribe) were not happy with this, but I don’t see this as a reason to close the forum.
We keep most of the articles on our site for further reflection by both members and nonmembers of UAH at: http://ugandansatheart.org/. If you read through the articles yourself, you will realize that its just impossible to please everyone who is in the political spectrum in Uganda, but this should not also be a reason to close such a very important group.
Therefore,I would like to urge you to reinstate the group as soon as possible as this is the main source of online political activism for majority of Ugandans, especially with the 2016 presidential elections around the corner. If the group is reinstated,we will work hard to make sure none of Google’s TERMS OF SERVICE are abused in any way.
I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org in case any other information is needed. Thank you for considering this appeal.
Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.com/
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/semuwemba