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Gov’t internet censorship renders Ethiopia as among top internet axed nations

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With 11 occurrences apiece, Ethiopia is now one of the two most heavily affected nations in Africa by internet outages.
Facebook, Telegram, and TikTok have been blocked in Ethiopia as from February 9, 2023 as a result of protests over the breakup of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC). This is Ethiopia’s eleventh forced internet outage since 2015, according to Surfshark’s Internet Shutdown Tracker.
In times of upheaval, undemocratic regimes frequently suspend internet access in an effort to head off criticism of their conduct and, ultimately, to quiet the populace. Many Ethiopians won’t be able to connect with one another or plan protests if access to these three major social media platforms is restricted, according to Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, a spokeswoman for Surfshark.
Since 2015, Ethiopia has shut down internet access a total of 11 times. Six of these cases involved other forms of political unrest, while five of them involved protests.
Wider anti-government sentiment has been created by protests related to the EOTC split. Even though the government typically doesn’t make the restriction public, Ethiopia has a history of limiting social media during protests.
In 2022, internet outages afflicted 1 in 4 Africans. Internet outages impacted more than 300 million Africans in 2022, according to Surfshark’s annual report on internet censorship.
After Asia, Africa has the second-highest level of internet censorship; in addition to long-term limitations, five African nations filtered the internet 13 times in 2022.
Globally, mass internet filtering had an impact on 4.2 billion people in 2022, according to Surfshark’s internet censorship yearly report. In 2022, Asia accounted for almost half of all new cases, with Africa coming in second. Autocratic countries continue to utilize internet censorship as a popular tactic to cut off its citizens from the outside world.
Facebook is the social media site most despised by despotic countries and was still heavily censored in 2022. In reality, since 2015, a startling 46% of the world’s population has been impacted by by Facebook bans in some form.
In 2017, Burkina Faso’s ban on Facebook was the longest in the world, lasting longer than those in Russia and Azerbaijan. The prohibition was in place until 2023. Following its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has continued to cause disruptions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Access to important international news websites has also been banned by the nation.
TikTok was censored in Azerbaijan in September. Even now, access to the platform is still limited.
By the number of internet disruptions, Asia continues to be ahead of Africa. In 2022, 58 occurrences of new internet outages were imposed by 11 Asian nations. The world’s greatest disruption total (24), followed by Iran (11) and India, in the Jammu & Kashmir area (10).
With five nations adopting 13 limitations in 2022, Africa became the second most disruptive area behind Asia. By the number of disruptions, Sudan leads all of Africa with four, followed by Burkina Faso (3), Zimbabwe (3), Sierra Leone (2), and Somalia (1).

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