AFP:Internet users in a record number of countries have faced arrest and physical attacks for their posts over the past year, a report said on Tuesday, painting a grim picture of digital freedoms in 2021.
The annual “Freedom on the Net” report said internet shutdowns in Myanmar and Belarus had proved particular low points as online rights declined globally for the 11th year in a row.Compiled by US think-tank Freedom House, the survey gives countries a score out of 100 for the level of internet freedom enjoyed by citizens, including the extent to which they face restrictions on the content they can access.
Other factors include whether pro-government trolls seek to manipulate online debates.”This year, users faced physical attacks in retribution for their online activities in 41 countries,” the report said, a “record high” since the tracking started 11 years ago.
Examples included a Mexican journalist assassinated after posting a Facebook video accusing a gang of murder.
The report also found that people had been arrested or convicted for their online activities in 56 out of the 70 countries covered by the report — a record 80%.
They included two Egyptian influencers jailed in June for sharing TikTok videos that encouraged women to pursue careers on social media platforms.