UPDATED

January 31, 2023

Internet shutdown tracker

Undemocratic governments around the world are increasingly turning to internet blackouts and social media censorship to maintain their rule. They use it to prevent the dissemination of information and to impede organizational efforts.

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5,698,341,933
Total users deprived of internet access to date
76
Total countries that have disrupted access to date

Where has the internet been restricted?

China flag

China

There is no evidence of internet disruptions in means of censorship.

China flag

China

Internet services have been restricted at least 4 times in the past.

Average Duration:

2913 d

China flag

China

Social media and/or VoIP has been disrupted at least 4 times in the past.

Average Duration:

2913 d

China flag

China

Social media and/or VoIP apps that are currently restricted: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Telegram, Whatsapp.

Continental statistics

We have sorted the internet and social media disruptions by continent for easier viewing

Africa

Africa has been one of the the most affected by internet censorship by the proportion of the population. 8 out of 10 Africans have felt internet and social media shutdowns.
Cases of disruptions: 98
Out of which due to:
Protests
48
Elections
24
Political turmoil
26
Internet law
0
No evidence
No. of countries
20
% of the continent
37%
Disrupted internet services in the past
No. of countries
34
Part of all continent countries
63%
Currently restricting social media or VoIP
No. of countries
2
Part of all continent countries
3.7%
Restricted social media or VoIP in the past
No. of countries
25
% of the continent
46.3%
Internet connection disrupted in the past
No. of countries
25
Part of all continent countries
46.3%
Affected people
No. of people
1,027,703,174
% of the continent
76.8%

Asia

India and its administered Jammu and Kashmir account for the majority (almost 76%) of internet censorship cases in Asia; the cases are related to protests, elections, and other political turmoil.
Cases of disruptions: 535
Out of which due to:
Protests
169
Elections
30
Political turmoil
325
Internet law
11
No evidence
No. of countries
17
% of the continent
34.7%
Disrupted internet services in the past
No. of countries
32
Part of all continent countries
65.3%
Currently restricting social media or VoIP
No. of countries
14
Part of all continent countries
28.6%
Restricted social media or VoIP in the past
No. of countries
28
% of the continent
57.1%
Internet connection disrupted in the past
No. of countries
19
Part of all continent countries
38.8%
Affected people
No. of people
4,198,480,242
% of the continent
90.3%

Europe

Most European internet censorship cases were registered in autocratic countries. Russia accounts for 60% - and Belarus for 27% - of all registered internet censorship cases.
Cases of disruptions: 15
Out of which due to:
Protests
6
Elections
3
Political turmoil
4
Internet law
2
No evidence
No. of countries
40
% of the continent
90.9%
Disrupted internet services in the past
No. of countries
4
Part of all continent countries
9.1%
Currently restricting social media or VoIP
No. of countries
2
Part of all continent countries
4.5%
Restricted social media or VoIP in the past
No. of countries
4
% of the continent
9.1%
Internet connection disrupted in the past
No. of countries
2
Part of all continent countries
4.5%
Affected people
No. of people
199,745,613
% of the continent
26.7%

North America

North America ranks 2nd as the continent with the fewest countries (2 out of 23) affected by internet censorship. Cuba accounts for 88% in the continent.
Cases of disruptions: 8
Out of which due to:
Protests
8
Elections
0
Political turmoil
0
Internet law
0
No evidence
No. of countries
21
% of the continent
91.3%
Disrupted internet services in the past
No. of countries
2
Part of all continent countries
8.7%
Currently restricting social media or VoIP
No. of countries
0
Part of all continent countries
0%
Restricted social media or VoIP in the past
No. of countries
1
% of the continent
4.3%
Internet connection disrupted in the past
No. of countries
2
Part of all continent countries
8.7%
Affected people
No. of people
11,381,616
% of the continent
1.9%

South America

Governments of South America’s most populous nations tend to control internet access more often. 30% of SA countries imposed online censorship, but if we’re talking about the number of people affected, those restrictions affected 60% of the continental population.
Cases of disruptions: 40
Out of which due to:
Protests
6
Elections
0
Political turmoil
34
Internet law
0
No evidence
No. of countries
8
% of the continent
66.7%
Disrupted internet services in the past
No. of countries
4
Part of all continent countries
33.3%
Currently restricting social media or VoIP
No. of countries
0
Part of all continent countries
0%
Restricted social media or VoIP in the past
No. of countries
3
% of the continent
25%
Internet connection disrupted in the past
No. of countries
3
Part of all continent countries
25%
Affected people
No. of people
261,031,288
% of the continent
60.6%

Oceania

Even though threats were made, there is no evidence of countries in Oceania ever restricting internet services due to protests, elections, or other political turmoil.
Cases of disruptions: 0
Out of which due to:
Protests
0
Elections
0
Political turmoil
0
Internet law
0
No evidence
No. of countries
14
% of the continent
100%
Disrupted internet services in the past
No. of countries
0
Part of all continent countries
0%
Currently restricting social media or VoIP
No. of countries
0
Part of all continent countries
0%
Restricted social media or VoIP in the past
No. of countries
0
% of the continent
0%
Internet connection disrupted in the past
No. of countries
0
Part of all continent countries
0%
Affected people
No. of people
0
% of the continent
0%

Find a country profile

Search for a country to find out whether it has faced internet shutdowns

Continental ranking based on disruptions: 12th

Cases of disruptions:4

Out of which due to:

1

Protests

N/A

Elections

3

Political turmoil

N/A

Internet law

Currently restricted social media platforms

Facebook

2009, July

Twitter

2009, July

Youtube

2009, July

Instagram

2016, September

Telegram

2016, July

Whatsapp

2017, September

Insights

More than 2/3 of all Asian countries have had limited access to the internet in the past for reasons ranging from total Western social media shutdowns to blocking YouTube because of leaked sexual footage involving local politicians.
African countries block access to social media the most (34 countries), especially amid political turmoil or elections. 1/3 of African countries have restricted access to internet services because of elections.
While South America doesn’t have many recorded cases of internet restrictions, Venezuela has blocked social media at least 18 times in 2019, every time acting president Juan Guaido was airing a speech online.
India remains the largest internet shutdown offender, with some of its internet blockages lasting for months in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.

Recent news

Iran
Iran
December 17, 2022
Internet connectivity disrupted in and around Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, corroborating user reports of curfew-style cuts during strikes over the death of Mahsa Amini.
Source
Jordan
Jordan
December 16, 2022
TikTok restricted on multiple internet providers amid protests over high fuel prices that have spread to several cities across the kingdom. TikTok said on January 16th, 2023 it was in talks with Jordan regarding lifting the ban.
Source
Iran
Iran
December 12, 2022
Abnormal drop in internet connectivity around the time of the execution of Majidreza Rahnavard.
Source
Iran
Iran
December 8, 2022
Disruption to internet connectivity in and around Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, after the killing of Houman Abdollahi and amid protests over the execution of Mohsen Shekari.
Source