What is the Internet Shutdown Tracker?
How do you track internet shutdowns?
What sources do you use?
Other sources used as supplementary metrics in the analysis:
Find full research material here
How accurate is the information on the page?
When estimating the population affected, we consider a restriction to be country-wide if several major cities are hit by it. If during the chosen period of time, a country has restricted the internet several times on a local or national scale, we add the country’s total population to the final affected people count.
When estimating the duration of an internet restriction 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 assumed to be 24 hours.
What is the difference between social media/messaging app disruptions and network connection disruptions?
Network connection disruptions do not target specific websites or services. They involve disruptions to an entire region’s, city’s or country’s network connection. Local network connection disruptions involve a single town, city or region, while national disruptions affect the entire country’s network connection.
What are the main terms used in this study?
Network connection disruptions - disruptions or the outright blocking of the ability to browse the internet on either a local (town, city or region) scale or on a nationwide scale.
Social media/messaging app restrictions - restrictions of social media services like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), as well as messaging apps (including VoIP) like WhatsApp and Telegram.
In the past - all internet shutdown cases Surfshark has recorded since 2015, as well as cases that are currently ongoing (such as permanent messaging app restrictions due to internet laws).
Protests - a public objection toward a governing party's decisions or actions. Common protest examples include labor strikes, marches, rallies, and sit-ins, as well as riots and looting on the more extreme side of the scale.
Elections - the decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold public office.
Internet law - a country's legal principles and regulations that govern their citizen's internet usage.
Examples of “Internet law” cases:
- Gulf countries have for a long time banned voice and video internet calling apps and platforms under the pretext of protecting the economic interests of national telecommunication companies.
- Russia banned Telegram for its refusal to share user messaging data with the government.
Other political turmoil - a state of confusion, uncertainty, or disorder within a country’s governing political party, unrelated to protests, elections, or internet law. Examples include military operations and internet disruptions aimed at limiting freedom of speech.