Social Media Shut Down
Ethiopia’s government recently blocked access to social media
to prevent students from being distracted from studying during nationwide exams. Popular sites such Facebook and Instagram were shut down a few days before and after the exams.
In dictatorial Ethiopia, censorship of the internet, opposition blogs and human rights websites are common. Though the government periodically shuts down social media, it tends to be for only a few hours. However, this is the first time social media has been shut down nationwide. Opponents of the regime fear this might be the first step in the government eventually shutting down social media for good.
In addition to wanting students to focus on the exams, the social media shutdown is also meant to deter cheating. Earlier this year, university exams were canceled because pictures of the questions were posted on social media. The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution classifying the censorship of the internet as a human rights violation.