Singapore Chinese newspaper Sinchew recently reported that the well-known American human rights group Freedom House just released its annual global Internet freedom report. The report showed that the global degree of freedom on the internet had shown a decline for seven consecutive years. For three years in a row China was found to be the worst country in the world in terms of online information control. The Freedom House study included 65 countries, covering 87 percent of the global online population. The report pointed out that Internet information played an important role in the elections in many countries and that political messages were heavily manipulated around the world. In 2017, (this control) impacted elections in at least 18 countries. The governments of more and more countries are following China and Russia to hire online “commentators” to use the Internet to manipulate public opinion. More and more governments are quietly influencing and suppressing different opinions via social media and social discussion groups. The Freedom House study found that, among the 65 countries in the scope of its research, 30 governments implemented online information manipulation and monitoring. Some governments expanded their operations beyond their own borders.
Source: Sinchew, November 15, 2017