New Data Added to ONI's Social Media Filtering Map

The OpenNet Initiative is excited to announce the addition of a full year of new data to its Social Media Filtering Map. The map gives users a visual overview where of Facebook, Flickr, Orkut, Twitter, and Youtube have been blocked since 2004. This update covers the last 12 months, bringing the map up to date with the latest information on social media censorship around the world.

This year brought turbulence to filtering regimes around the world. The revolutions of the Arab Spring have reshuffled the decks. Tunisia has abandoned its social media censorship after the fall of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January, so that users now have access to previously blocked sites such as Twitter and Youtube.

Other countries that have been shaken by the revolutions that swept through the Middle East and North Africa now make the map for the first time: Egypt started blocking Facebook and Twitter just before shutting down the Internet in January amidst protests that toppled the regime shortly thereafter.

The momentum of the Arab Spring has also carried authoritarians’ fears of social media abroad. Cameroon puts Africa on the map for the first time by shutting down the “SMS to Twitter” feature, which the government suspected could be used during protests.

To explore more cases of censorship around the world, please have a look at our Social Media Filtering Map.