Nigeria is one of the countries with the most internet freedom in the world, a new study has found Proxyrackthe data collection company announced.
The report, which paints a grim picture of digital freedoms in 2022, notes that internet users in a record number of countries have faced arrest and physical attacks over their posts in the past year.
Published on Friday, report Nigeria ranks 10th in the list of countries with the most internet freedom worldwide.
The survey, compiled by Proxyrack researchers, gives countries a score out of 100 based on the level of internet freedom citizens enjoy, including the degree to which they face restrictions on the content they can access.
Other factors considered were the extent of bans and restrictions on torrents, pornography, political media, social media, VPNs, messaging and VoIP applications.
“The Internet has become a tool that many rely on for learning, communication and entertainment,” read the report’s foreword. “However, not all countries believe that this amount of data should be fully available to the public.”
Governments around the world are trying to restrict their citizens’ digital rights, limit or censor access to data, or even prevent access to a secure internet, the researchers said.
“Internet freedom is also in decline globally, with some activists using settlements and VPNs to speak out against corrupt regimes and create a more just society,” he said.
“We looked at the percentage of internet users in each country, the censorship laws citizens are subject to, and the digital freedoms afforded to each country’s citizens to learn.”
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The Nigerian government banned Twitter last year, citing continued use of the platform for activities that could undermine Nigeria’s corporate presence, which activists described as stifling citizens’ voices and violating their rights to freedom of expression.
The UK ranks first as the country with the most internet freedom, with the lowest score being 0 out of 10. The country has the highest proportion of people online and tops the list for internet freedom. The UK also does not restrict social media sites, Proxyrack said.
Japan is in second place. The Asian country has the highest proportion of internet users and ranks very low in terms of internet censorship. It also scores 77 out of 100 on internet freedom.
Germany ranked third thanks to an internet freedom score of 77, sharing second place for this factor. Germany also does not restrict user access, and the country has one of the lowest scores on censorship, according to the report.
The United States comes next, followed by France; Italy; Brazil; Philippines; Mexico, Nigeria.
At the other end of the spectrum, China has been named the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom, handing out heavy prison sentences for online dissent.
The country has the most internet restrictions, the report said: “China banned its citizens from western social media sites and gave one of the lowest scores for this factor.”
“The country also severely restricts political media online, scoring the highest (11 out of 11) on internet censorship.”
Iran is behind China as the nation bans Western social media sites and severely restricts citizens’ access to political media, Proxyrack said. The country also has a very low net freedom score of 8.16 out of 10.
Egypt is the third worst country for internet restrictions. The proportion of citizens using the internet in the North African country is relatively low. It also ranks in the bottom five for internet freedom, as the Egyptian government is known to jail journalists and human rights defenders for their online activities.
The next place in the index is followed by Bangladesh, Vietnam; Thailand; India; Turkey; Russia; and Indonesia.
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