According to a recent study, global internet freedom fell for the 12th straight year in 2022. The environment for human rights online deteriorated in 28 countries.

For the eighth year, internet user conditions in China remain “the worst environment for internet freedom.” 

Beijing imposed new regulations that require platforms to use their algorithmic systems to promote the Communist Party’s ideology as it tightened its grip on the nation’s technology sector.

Freedom House said, “In at least 53 countries, users faced legal repercussions for expressing themselves online, often leading to draconian prison terms.”

Contents related to the 2022 Beijing Olympics and the COVID-19 pandemic were tightly censored during the coverage period, keeping China at the bottom of the list.

One of the cases was that of tennis player Peng Shuai, who, on the social media site Weibo, accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault.

Not only did her posts regarding Zhang vanish from Weibo, but so did posts made by other users that mentioned Peng.

The report read, “Censorship intensified during the 2022 Beijing Olympics and after tennis star Peng Shuai accused a high-ranking Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official of sexual assault.”

The study added, “Journalists, human rights activists, members of religious and ethnic minority groups, and ordinary users were detained for sharing online content, with some facing harsh prison sentences.”

Russia saw the sharpest decline in internet freedom, followed by Myanmar, Sudan, and Libya. Overall, the U.S. came in eighth, with Iceland again the top performer.

Freedom House is a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1941 and funded mainly by the U.S. government.

According to the Freedom House website, it “works as an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.”

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.