Social Media Censorship is Getting Worse According to This Study

Internet access brings a lot of advantages such as enabling people to gain access to information with just a few taps of their finger. Many people are starting to call access to the internet a basic human right because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing people to earn money as well as educate themselves in a manner that just hadn’t been all that possible previously in human history due to technological barriers and limitations.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that a lot of world governments don’t really seem to care about that and are trying to block social media access. This can be a really big problem for the world, and a really unfortunate trend that has been noticed is that the level of social media censorship that the world is seeing is on the rise and there is a strong likelihood that it would get a lot worse before it gets any better.

This information comes from SurfShark which has been taking note of social media censorship over the last seven years. This research involved an analysis on the state of internet access and social media in all of the 193 countries that are recognized by the UN, and one thing to note is that this often involves preventing certain information from being spread on social media apart from restricting user access to said social media sites in the first place so this is quite a diverse issue.

The worst offenders when it comes to social media censorship are generally countries that are in Asia and Africa. These countries are somewhat more likely to have authoritarian rulers and dictatorial governmental regimes. Such forms of government give the state leeway to do whatever it would like to do in order to provide or take away internet access as they see fit. Hence, since there are no legal blocks that can prevent governments from censoring social media and blocking access to sites, they often move forward with it without any obstacles.

Another really concerning thing that this data reveals is that there is at least some kind of social media blocking that is occurring in around a third of the countries that exist at present. These blockages often center around things like elections and any type of political upheaval, and there are 71 countries that are either currently blocking some form of social media access or alternatively have done so at some point in the past. Most of these countries are in Asia and Africa, with South America also having a large number of them.

If we were to take a closer look at how these things work, it can be discovered that the vast majority of African countries do not allow unrestricted social media access to their citizens. Sometimes this can be relatively innocuous such as in the case such as Algeria blocking social media access during exam season so that students can focus on their studies. In other cases it can be more serious such as Nigeria completing banning Twitter when the new government came into power.

Asia is also a pretty bad offender in this regard. Perhaps the worst country in the world for social media use is actually China due to the reason that this country has blocked access to virtually all foreign social media platforms. Another example of terrible internet rights violations occurred in India, where the government completely blocked all forms of internet access in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir after passing a controversial new law that suspended this territory’s disputed status which caused widespread protests among the residents of that locale.

The fact that so many governments are adamant about banning social media is a strong indication of how powerful a tool it can be. It allows for the rapid dissemination of all kinds of information, and most governments that rely on the iron fist to maintain power would obviously not be all that happy about that and would want to restrict it whenever they can.
Read next: Global Economy Shrank by $5.5 Billion in 2021 Due to Internet Censorship
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