Russia, India and Iran Imposed the Most Internet Censorship in 2022World | February 14, 2023, Tuesday // 09:45| views
More than four billion people around the world were affected last year by suspensions of access to the Internet and social networks, with about half of the cases in Asia, according to the annual report of the Dutch company Surfshark, DPA reported.
The report summarizes key developments in global Internet censorship, including the legal control, suppression or manipulation of what can and cannot be viewed, downloaded or published on the Internet.
In 2022, the most censorship was imposed in Russia, India, Iran and in the disputed territory on the India-Pakistan border of Jammu and Kashmir, the Dutch company said. Jammu and Kashmir is the region with the most recorded internet outages, with unprecedented internet restrictions since 2019, entirely related to "political turmoil".
In India, TikTok has been banned since June 2020, and at the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia blocked key social platforms. In order to contain local protests against the war, access to Twitter was restricted, and a little later to Facebook and Instagram. Moscow also blocked access to major international news sites.
The death of Mahsa Amini following her arrest by Iran's morality police in September sparked mass protests in Kurdistan Province and the rest of Iran. As a result, internet services were interrupted almost entirely, mobile operators were also affected massively. Access to Instagram and WhatsApp is restricted throughout the country.
As for other parts of the world, WhatsApp remains banned in Oman, and Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have been banned in China since 2009.
In 2022, a total of 78 cases of Internet restrictions were registered. Internet disconnections lasted an average of 33 hours, and the average duration of social media censorship was 114 days.
National protests and political turmoil have been the main catalyst for internet censorship.
According to the report, the most hated social network among authoritarian governments is Facebook.
Internet outages in 2022 lasted the longest in Burkina Faso, Russia and Azerbaijan.
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