Social Media

Zimbabwe Data Ruling Could Be an Attempt to Clamp Down on Social Media, Quell Dissent

By Malcom Sharara|

In 2016 Zimbabweans ​used social media to air their grievances, criticise and eventually mobilise citizens to demonstrate against government.

Zimbawe’s new floor prices for data services could be an attempt to boost state coffers, or government’s way of curbing free speech through social media, according to analysts.

Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), which set…

DR Congo Plans to Shut Down Social Media ahead of Next Week’s Political Protests

By Abdi Latif Dahir|

Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo have ordered telecom companies to block social media networks from Sunday night (Dec. 18), ahead of protests against president Joseph Kabila, the day he is supposed to step down from office.

The block spans content creation and information sharing platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Skype, Viber, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, among others.

The order…

#KeepitOn: Joint letter on the internet and the election in Gambia

Joint Letter |

President Yahya Jammeh
cc: Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA)
Gambia Permanent Mission to the United Nations
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

30 November 2016

Your Excellency,

We are writing to urgently request that you ensure the stability and openness of the internet during the forthcoming elections in Gambia on December 1. Elections represent the most critical moment in a democracy, and…

The Internet Shutdown In Ethiopia Costs The Country Approximately $500,000 A Day In Lost GDP

By Tefo Mohapi|

In October 2016, Ethiopia declared a state of emergency which saw it impose certain measures that included telecommunications, media and Internet shutdowns along with travel restrictions on diplomats and a dusk-to-dawn curfew, to name a few of the measures implemented. The state of emergency, effective from 08 October 2016, comes as a result of about five hundred people…

Mali is the Latest African Country to Impose a Social Media Blackout

By Lily Kuo|

It hasn’t been a good week for internet freedom in Africa, with three countries imposing social media blackouts, according to the campaign Keep it On.

Internet users in Bamako, Mali reported not being able to use Facebook and Twitter after protests against the detention of a popular radio host on Wednesday (Aug. 17) turned violent, resulting in three deaths.

Hiking The Price of Free Speech. The Real Reasons Behind Government’s Suspension of Telecoms Promos

By Digital Avatar|

The past few weeks have made for interesting viewing, reading, following, watching and sharing for those who have been following the telecoms industry in Zimbabwe. There have been many policy announcements and directives from the regulatory authorities in the face of increasing ‘misuse’ of social and digital platforms. Just recently all three mobile network operators announced the nearly synchronised…

Analysis of the Relationship Between Online Information Controls and Elections in Zambia

By Arthur Gwagwa |

The defining era in Zambia’s current rise in online political and civic activism can be traced back to the period between 2011 and 2013. This is when the late President Sata embraced social media as part of his political and public diplomacy strategy.  As the country now prepares for the August 2016 General Elections, government, its agencies, such…

Ethiopia Blocks Facebook and Other Social Media for Exams

Ethiopia has blocked social media sites across the country after university entrance exams were posted online.

The government said the ban was to prevent students being distracted from studying during the exam period and to prevent the spread of false rumours.

The blocked sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Viber.

They will be unavailable for several days while university entrance exams are taken,…

Zimbabwe Becomes the Latest Country to Shut Down Social Media

By Juliet Nanfuka |

Less than a week after the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council declared that online rights must be protected and condemned disruptions to internet access, citizens in Zimbabwe became the latest victims of online communications shut down. Authorities in Zimbabwe shut down communications in the wake of protests against rampant corruption and misuse of state funds by…

Pushing Back Against Internet Shutdowns

By Marylin Vernon |

Advancing human rights for the 3.2 billion users of the internet, of which two billion are from developing countries, needs a robust and systematic approach to ensure that the rights individuals enjoy offline are also applicable online. Indeed, debate on protecting online freedoms has taken centre stage as incidents of blockage of access of the internet and…