Before the advent of the internet and social media, governments used different methods to restrict freedom of expression and prevent human rights defenders, opposition political party members and other citizens from expressing views that government did not like. The phenomenon of internet shutdowns came to prominence in Egypt during the Arab Spring when the Egyptian government completely cut off internet access for several days to prevent Egyptians from mobilising and sharing images from protests. As citizens, journalists and civil society organisations increasingly use the internet and social media to share information, these platforms have become the new frontiers for restrictions on freedom of expression by governments around the world. We are now starting to understand the social and economic impact of internet shutdowns, which were estimated to have had a global GDP cost of USD 2.4 billion in 2016. Read more here.
Source: Open Democracy