Internet Freedom rapidly degrading in Southeast Asia

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Line, WhatsApp and WeChat are the most popular social media sites in Southeast Asia, but their power to spread free speech is declining. Credit: ITU/R.Farrell
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Line, WhatsApp and WeChat are the most popular social media sites in Southeast Asia, but their power to spread free speech is declining. Credit: ITU/R.Farrell

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IPSnews – PHNOM PENH, Feb 15 2018 (IPS) – Researchers recently evaluated 65 countries which represent 87 percent of internet users globally. Half of them experienced a decline of internet freedom. China, Syria and Ethiopia are the least free. Estonia, Iceland and Canada enjoy the most freedom online.

The most remarkable evolution comes from Southeast Asia. A few years ago, this was a promising region. The economy was growing, democracy was on the rise. Malaysia had free elections, Indonesia started an anti-corruption campaign and the social rights of Cambodian garment workers were improving.

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