Freedom on the Net 2019: The Crisis of Social Media

Freedom House

Created 11/12/2019

Analysis, Blog


Freedom on the Net

Internet freedom is increasingly imperiled by the tools and tactics of digital authoritarianism, which have spread rapidly around the globe. Repressive regimes, elected incumbents with authoritarian ambitions, and unscrupulous partisan operatives have exploited the unregulated spaces of social media platforms, converting them into instruments for political distortion and societal control. While social media have at times served as a level playing field for civic discussion, they are now tilting dangerously toward illiberalism, exposing citizens to an unprecedented crackdown on their fundamental freedoms. Moreover, a startling variety of governments are deploying advanced tools to identify and monitor users on an immense scale. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2019.

Click here for the full report. 

Explore the interactive map. 

Did you find this interesting? You might enjoy Freedom House’s Freedom and the Media 2019: A Downward Spiral

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