Internet censorship is a truly significant issue that needs to be addressed and dealt with properly. Since the freedom of speech and information sharing is of paramount importance. However, Africa cannot boast being particularly loose, when it comes to Internet accessibility.
Instead, there are many African countries that are under strict laws. So, Internet censorship in Africa is definitely one of the major disadvantages when living in such countries. This is 2016, though, and digital freedom should be indisputable – more like a given.
In multiple places across the continent of Africa, there are problems as to the accessibility of Internet users to social media and other websites of increasing popularity. It goes without even saying that authoritarian regimes are interested in keeping their people as much “in the dark” as they can, restricting their access to outer sources of information and different opinions. As a result, in various countries, you can expect to get heavy censorship and not enjoy the wonder of the Internet in its full spectrum.
Countries such as Eritrea and Ethiopia, Sudan and of course Egypt suffer from lack of Internet freedoms. Eritrea has taken the first place among the most censored countries of the world – a title that Eritrea could live without! In Ethiopia, there are frequent cases of journalists being prosecuted and penalized for trying to cover the news and report the current situation without a “governmental touch”. In Sudan, twelve types of information have been forbidden for the citizens. Egypt has captured universal attention, thanks to the recent protests against the regime. Consequently, media has been censored heavily in the country.
Nigeria and Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Uganda are in a similar – though lighter situation in terms of Internet censorship. For instance, Uganda has censored social media for the election time and this is certainly a matter worth considering. Nigeria acted in the opposite direction, however.
They have considered social media to be a positive means of communication, even in elections. Still, Internet censorship has not been ceased there, either. In these countries, there are mostly threats against several blogs and other websites, which violate the legislation or the extra rules implemented by the strict governments. But no matter how bad the web censorship is, folks can always avoid that in Africa with the same methods many are utilizing to avoid censorship in middle east with ease – for example.
On the bright side, there are countries like South Africa and Kenya where no Internet censorship is applicable. Although in South Africa there is a new law that would bring turbulences to the free nature of the web, evidence has not shown such consequences yet. Other than that, blogging is free and so is the expression of different opinions – very positive details, particularly for the African countries.
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