Censorship Has Sailed

For most leaders, the pandemic presented a challenge. For some, it provided an opportunity. “China provided a playbook for information repression that spread around the world alongside the virus. Citing covid, authoritarian governments in Russia, Iran, Nicaragua, and eighty other nations, according to Human Rights Watch, enacted new restrictions on free speech and political expression that were falsely described as public-health measures … Authoritarian regimes called the censorship necessary and much of it temporary, but, in reality, the pandemic amplified or accelerated a shift toward authoritarianism that, according to the U.S.-based pro-democracy organization Freedom House, had been under way for fourteen years.” The New Yorker: How China’s Response to COVID-19 Set the Stage for a Worldwide Wave of Censorship.

+ When manipulating information doesn’t work, there’s always the backup plan: turning it off. Rest of World: In the Dark: Seven years, 60 countries, 935 internet shutdowns: How authoritarian regimes found an off switch for dissent.

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