Internet is Censored in Two-Thirds of the World, Writes Dragomir
Astonishingly, two-thirds of internet users live in countries where criticism of authorities is subject to censorship, according to Freedom of the Net 2016, a survey of internet freedom in 65 countries worldwide, run by Freedom House, a U.S. government funded NGO. CMDS's Director, Marius Dragomir recently published an article about the bleak results of the survey in Media Power Monitor.
According to the article and the survey "Internet freedom has declined for the sixth year in a row, according to Freedom House. Increasingly, governments target social media and communication apps in their attempt to prevent the spread of information. In 24 of the 65 countries canvassed by Freedom House, the government impeded access to social media and apps. The countries covered in the Freedom House survey shelter 87% of the globe’s population. In many cases, people are punished for petty offenses. A Facebook user in Lebanon was interrogated by the country’s cybercrime watchdog for criticizing a singer. Often, punishments are disproportionately severe. A Saudi was put behind bars for 10 years and received 2,000 lashes for spreading atheistic thoughts on Twitter. Criticism or mockery of authorities has serious consequences. A pastor in Zimbabwe was arrested last July for criticizing the country’s leadership on YouTube. In Hungary, 17 people were charged with defamation simply for sharing a Facebook post about some allegedly illegal financial dealings of a mayor in a Hungarian town."