African governments silence social media and bloggers

Imagine a world where you would have to pay to post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. (although I'm quite positive this would reduce the number of IG tea models and personal trainers), however, this is the reality in several African countries where governments are blocking free speech online. African governments are looking at the internet as a threat and are using a motley of targeted shutdowns, surveillance, and arbitrary legislation to silence digital users. These disruptions are having a costly impact not just on democracy and social cohesion, but on economic growth, innovation, internet openness, net neutrality, and freedom of expression.

In Tanzania, bloggers now have to pay authorities over $900 to license their websites. In Egypt, officials have banned calls made over social media apps, blocked hundreds of local and international websites, and called for the launch of a state-owned, Facebook-like platform. In DR Congo, president Joseph Kabila’s administration has used a decades-old law to monitor and censor the internet. Kenya, bedeviled by fake news during its elections last year, recently passed a sweeping law that critics say could stifle press freedom.


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