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

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    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.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.