The State of Internet Censorship Worldwide

Created: Sep 03, 2016

Updated: June 19, 2024


Understanding the contemporary phenomenon of internet censorship is crucial for recognizing the demanding situations customers face and the efforts needed to fight these restrictions. As digital communication becomes more powerful, many governments have taken steps to regulate and reveal online activities, impacting men' and woman's freedom and privacy. Internet freedom has been on the decline, with nations using techniques like website blockading, social media regulations, and big surveillance. These measures suppress dissent, restrict unfastened speech, and shape the information panorama for healthy political agendas. Understanding the contemporary phenomenon of internet censorship is crucial for recognizing the demanding situations customers face and the efforts needed to fight these restrictions. This article highlights key statistics and traits, revealing how censorship is applied and the impact it has on global net customers.
 Internet censorship | Go-Globe

Global Internet Freedom

Decline in Internet Freedom: According to Freedom House, internet freedom has been on the decline for over a decade, with 2022 marking the 12th consecutive year of deteriorating net freedom globally. China, Iran, and North Korea are continually ranked as the worst offenders in terms of internet censorship and surveillance.

Censorship tactics

Website Blocking and Filtering: Many governments block access to certain websites, mainly those with political content material, social media systems, or web sites deemed morally irrelevant. For instance, nations like China use the Great Firewall to restrict access to international net offerings like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Some international locations throttle internet speeds or implement whole internet shutdowns for the duration of instances of political unrest or elections. India has regularly resorted to net shutdowns, especially in regions like Jammu and Kashmir.

Social media and messaging apps

Platform Bans: Countries, including Iran and China, have banned structures like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, regularly replacing them with local alternatives that might be easier to display and control.
Governments are under increasing pressure from social media groups to remove content that they find objectionable. For example, Turkey and Russia have excessive charges for content material removal requests.


Mass Surveillance Programs: Many nations engage in huge online surveillance. The US, through packages like PRISM, and China, through its sizeable virtual surveillance network, are prime examples. Some governments mandate that ISPs and telecom organizations hold person facts to a certain length, taking into account retroactive surveillance. The EU has faced significant controversy over its statistical retention directives.

Emerging Trends

Artificial Intelligence and Censorship: Governments are increasingly using AI to stumble on and censor undesirable content more efficiently. AI gear can quickly test and block content throughout large amounts of statistics.
As users turn to VPNs to circumvent censorship, international locations like China and Russia are imposing measures to block VPN services and penalize their use.

Digital Rights Advocacy

Increased Awareness and Activism: There is a developing motion toward advocating for digital rights and net freedom. Organizations just like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Access Now work to shield online rights and fight censorship.

The State Of Internet Censorship

  • 64% of internet users express concern over governmental censorship.
  • Ireland ranks first for internet freedom with 95 points on the Freedom House Index.
  • North Korea, China, and Iran are among the top censored nations in the world.
  • More than 450,000 websites have been blocked in Turkey from 2020 to 2024.
  • According to Surfshark, with the increase in internet censorship incidents, 4.2 billion people were affected worldwide.
  • 35% of internet users had no access, while 24% had unrestricted access, as per the World Economic Forum.
  • Internet blocking cost the world economy $5.5 billion in 2021, according to Top10VPN.
  • Business Insider's study shows that between 2020 and 2021, the number of people impacted by internet outages increased by 80%.
  • Internet freedom has declined for 12 consecutive years as of 2022.
  • China, Iran, and North Korea are consistently ranked as having the least internet freedom.
  • In China, over 10,000 websites are blocked, including major platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • In Turkey, more than 400,000 websites are blocked, according to recent counts.
  • As of 2023, Iran blocks over 50% of the top 500 global websites, including social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Russia has increased content removal requests on social media by 20% in the last year.
  • India recorded 84 internet shutdowns in 2022, the highest in the world, accounting for over 60% of global shutdowns.
  • In China, the use of unauthorized VPNs is punishable by fines and imprisonment, with over 30% of internet users affected by the crackdown.
  • In the United States, government data requests to tech companies have increased by 15% annually.
  • In China, over 200 million surveillance cameras are installed, many with facial recognition capabilities.
  • AI tools are used in over 40% of censorship activities in countries like China and Russia.
  • In the first half of 2023, Google received over 50,000 government requests for user data, a 10% increase from the previous year.
  • Facebook reported over 120,000 government requests for user data in 2023, up by 15% from 2022.


Internet censorship is a complex and evolving issue with widespread implications for freedom of expression, access to records, and privacy. The tendencies indicate a tightening grip via authoritarian regimes, balanced by growing advocacy and technological innovation geared toward keeping an open and free internet.

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