In Africa, Asia, Middle East Europe, and some places in South America, freedom of speech are most times regarded as infringement.
Over the years, people living in these countries are faced with this setbacks and restrictions which could be mild and other times cruel, up to the level of placing ban on the use of the internet.
According to a Top10VPN report,
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The overall economic loss experienced worldwide due to the Internet shutdown totals up to $4.01 billion, a 50% drop from what was recorded in 2019.
However, the cases recorded in 2020 is fewer considering the previous year’s record.
On the list according to the report, Sub-Saharan African countries facing this involves Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania, Chad, Guinea, Burundi, and Togo.
The economic impact for the region dropped in comparison to what was experienced in 2019, a drastic 810% decline.
On the other hand, Asian and European countries are the countries in the top five position as Indian lost $2.3 billion in 2020 considering that of 2019 which was $1.3 billion.
Aside from failure in internet services, Social media restriction, and Internet throttling, the right of the citizens living in these countries right was subjugated through restriction of gathering, election interference, and infringement on freedom of speech.
A source mentioned that
It was disheartening at the beginning of 2021 as the Ugandan government pulled a familiar stunt during the January 14th presidential election, the fifth in the country’s history of Internet shutdowns
Top10VPN, in the report, considered both national and regional Internet blackouts that are significant enough to have an economic effect. It, however, didn’t consider disruptions resulting from natural and technical causes
The economic costs were sourced from reputable media platforms and calculated using Netblocks and Internet Society’s Cost of Shutdown Tool. The calculations are based on the national and regional Gross Domestic Products (GDPs), or economic value of Internet users in the affected region.
That said, it is worthy to note that all aforementioned disruptions are all government-led, which begs the question of when to draw the line between Internet moderation and outright censorship.
For instance, Chad had to endure one of the longest social media shutdowns in the world between March 2018 and July 2019 because of a constitutional change to retain a long-sitting president.
In 2020, the country faced another round of disruptions because the government wants to prevent the spread of messages “inciting hate and division” after videos of a military officer opening fire on a civilian mechanic began circulating.
Ethiopia lost %111.3m in the duration of 1,536 hours because of the total internet shutdown.
Sudan lost $68.7m in the duration of 36 hours because of the total internet shutdown.
Tanzania lost $27.5m in the duration of 432 hours because of total internet shutdown and social media shutdowns.
Chad lost $23.1m in the duration of 4,608 hours because of total internet shutdown and social media shutdowns.
Sub-Saharan Africa lost $237.4 million in 2020 to Internet censorship.
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