UPDATED:January 8, 2024

Internet shutdown tracker

Undemocratic governments can disrupt their countries’ network connection and social media access as a means to silence the public in times of political unrest. The Internet Shutdown Tracker unmasks the countries guilty of taking these measures according to internet watchdog NetBlocks and other media and NGO reports. The study includes cases that occurred from 2015 onwards.

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5,861,630,751
Total users deprived of internet access to date
77
Total countries that have disrupted access to date

Where has the internet been restricted?

Regional statistics

We have sorted internet shutdowns (including both network connection disruptions and social media/messaging app disruptions) by region for easier viewing.

Africa
Asia
Europe
North America
South America
Oceania
Africa is the second most intensive region by internet shutdowns. 8 out of 10 Africans have been hit by internet shutdowns since 2015.
Cases of disruptions since 2015: 115
Out of which due to:
56
Protests
29
Elections
29
Other political turmoil
1
Internet law
 
No. of countries
% of the continent
No evidence
20
37%
Any type of disruption in the past
34
63%
Currently restricting social media/messaging apps
6
11.1%
Social media/messaging apps disrupted in the past
25
46.3%
Network connection disrupted in the past
26
48.1%
Affected people
1,112,954,990
77.2%

Find a country profile

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

Regional ranking by disruptions: 13th in Asia

Cases of disruptions since 2015: 4

Out of which due to:

1

Protests

N/A

Elections

3

Other political turmoil

N/A

Internet law

Currently restricting social media platforms

Facebook

2009, July

X (formerly 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

Pakistan
Pakistan
January 7, 2024
Social media platforms disruption registered vacross Pakistan, including X, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The incident coincides with the former PM Imran Khan's party launch of its election fundraising telethon.
Source
Pakistan
Pakistan
December 17, 2023
Metrics show major social media platforms were restricted in Pakistan for ~7 hours on Sunday evening during an online political gathering; the incident is consistent with previous instances of internet censorship targeting opposition leader Imran Khan and his party PTI
Source
Chad
Chad
December 7, 2023
Real-time network data show a nation-scale loss of internet connectivity in Chad; the incident comes amid rising political tensions just weeks ahead of a constitutional referendum
Source
Guinea
Guinea
November 24, 2023
Metrics show a disruption to multiple social media and messaging platforms in the Republic of #Guinea including Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram; access remains possible through the use of VPN services. The incident comes amid political tension in the country.
Source