Surfshark

Methodology

What is the internet censorship tracker?

The internet censorship tracker is a project that tracks cases of partial and complete internet shutdowns in 193 UN countries from 2015 to the present day. It allows us to picture who, when, or why restricts the public’s access to the world wide web. The internet censorship tracker is very important in a time where un-democratic governments around the world impose control on the internet to limit free expression and popular organizing efforts.

How do you track internet censorship?

To track cases of internet censorship, we comb over the reports from organizations working in the field of internet censorship and analyze news releases from credible news services.

What sources do you use?

For our internet censorship tracker, a lot of data is collected from trusted digital rights NGOs NetBlocks and AccessNow, as well as Freedom House. When it comes to news sources, we use the reporting from BBC, Bloomberg, The New York Times, and similar.

Other sources:


Find full research material here

How accurate is the information on the page?

While our research data is strictly checked, there may be some inaccuracies due to the sources. As the internet censorship tracker relies on open-source reporting of internet censorship, some cases may go unnoticed due to lack of coverage. This can lead to underreporting.

When estimating the population affected, we consider a blackout to be country-wide if several specific cities are hit by it.

When estimating the duration of internet blockage with no specific duration described by our sources, we use similar events as a guideline. If there are no clues about the start or end of the event, the duration is counted as 24 hours.

What is the difference between social media blockage and internet censorship?

Social media blockage is a much more narrow field that, for the purposes of this study, encompasses social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and communication apps (including VoIP) like WhatsApp and Telegram.

Internet censorship is broader as it blocks access to the internet entirely rather than targeting specific websites and services.

What are the main terms used in this study?

Blocked internet services - this term encompasses both internet connection and platform/service-based disruptions.

In the past - this term includes both previous cases of censorship and blocking and ones currently ongoing.

Political turmoil - this term means that blockages are related to freedom of speech, blocking due to some events that are not protests, information control, military-operations related disruptions.

Social media blockage - this includes both social media services like Facebook and Twitter and communication apps (including VoIP) like WhatsApp and Telegram.

Internet censorship - this term is close to blocked internet services as this means disruptions or outright blocking of the ability to browse the internet.