Internet freedom 'in decline' for seventh consecutive year

The NGO, which conducts research and advocacy on democracy and human rights, says elections in 18 countries suffered from those tactics, including the United States itself.

    A new report by Freedom House, the US-based non-governmental organization (NGO) that advocates human rights worldwide, says manipulation of social media and disinformation campaigns have led to a global decline in internet freedom for the seventh year in a row.

    The NGO, which conducts research and advocacy on democracy and human rights, says elections in 18 countries suffered from those tactics, including the United States itself.

    Governments around the world are increasingly resorting to social media manipulation. Venezuela, the Philippines and Turkey are among 30 countries employing social media “opinion shapers” to spread pro-government news and opinions.

    Other countries, including China and Ethiopia, resorted to blocking mobile internet services, particularly in areas with religious or ethnic minorities.

    Al Jazeera's Jacob Ward reports from San Francisco.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.