VPN use rises amid social media restrictions
Some of the more recent social media restriction cases in Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda showed massive increases in downloads, VPN free trial opt-ins, and website visits at Surfshark. Our VPN services can help people bypass internet restrictions and censorships. This shows that amid government-imposed social media blackouts, their citizens individually turn to tools for freedom of speech.
Almost one in three countries have blocked social media either permanently or sporadically since 2015.
While governments justify restricting social media due to security reasons, more often than not it happens amidst protests and demonstrations.
Our data also shows our VPN use rates skyrocket during these cases.
A note on our methodology
The constraints of our methodology mean that there may be cases of social media blockings that have gone unnoticed or unreported, and numbers are likely to change if and when new information becomes available.
The data measures social media blockings from 2015 till the present day. Social media was conceptualized as social networking sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube etc.) and communication apps, including VoIPs (i.e. Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber). Both local and national social media blockings have been taken into account in the study.
The data was collected through open-source information from Freedom House, Netblocks and reputable news reports.
Full research material.