In a worrying sign to many, Senegal’s surprising democratic erosion persists. The recent internet shutdown in Senegal seems to be designed to quell increasing dissent against the regime of Macky Sall. This article published in Fast Company was written by Adji Bousso Dieng:
On the evening of March 4, 2021, the day following one of the biggest series of protests in Senegal’s modern history, the African nation’s government switched off the internet. Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, YouTube, and other social communication channels were restricted. By shutting down one of the most important means of communication in Senegal, the government aimed to suppress the magnitude of the protests against President Macky Sall and his regime.
This practice of restricting the internet and social networking channels isn’t singular to Senegal. Internet shutdown and throttling has been a long-standing practice employed by governments to prevent protests and control information spread, especially in South Asia and Africa.
But in an increasingly digital world, internet access has become a human right, and governments and internet service providers shouldn’t have the ability to shut it down, especially in countries with a fragile democracy.
Read the full story here.