Americans and citizens of most countries in the world take checking their Facebook page or firing off a few tweets to express their opinion as a natural right, and very few think about less fortunate people who live in countries with authoritarian government who regularly block social media. According to a recent report from Dadaviz, there are actually only six countries across the globe who actively block social media networks: China, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Turkey, Vietnam.

Countries That Block Social Media [GRAPHIC]

North Korea total social media ban

Reclusive, impoverished North Korea is the only country in the world with a total ban on social media. The other five countries have countries have bans in place, but in many cases, users can use VPNs to redirect internet traffic to get access to blocked social media websites. North Korea, however, has instead buily their own “internal internet” that is not connected to the global worldwide web.

Turkey

Unlike the other five countries, Turkey is already a NATO member and also an applicant to the European Union. Turkey is also a functioning democracy, at least until Erdogan’s recent power grab, which makes the nation’s full blockage of social media on a semi-regular basis very concerning.

However, Turkey’s banning of social media is not a law that is always enforced. Turkey selectively enforces bans of social media depending on the political/social climate. The ongoing social media ban in Turkey today (which may be starting to be lifted) was put in place after a terrorist group that held a state prosecutor hostage began to distribute images of the crisis via the internet.

The hostage situation was eventually concluded with the death of the prosecutor and his kidnappers. The government argued that the republishing of the images was basically supporting terrorism, and since social media did not limit the distribution of the images, they had to be closed down.

Back in March 2014, Turkey banned Twitter after public uprisings abouty government corruption scandals. The government in Ankara also blocked YouTube for more than 2.5 years after a video supposedly insulting the founder of modern Turkey was uploaded.

China

China has long had a policy of internet censorship, and has an outright ban on Western social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The Chinese government claimed that social networking platforms were used to coordinate anti-government protests in Xinjiang and elsewhere, as well as spread rumors that are harmful to the state, so they banned them.

However as reported by Valuewalk, Facebook is still actively involved in China despite being banned back in 2009, and the company is reporting revenue strong growth in the region despite the ban. Twitter, which is also banned in China, recently opened an office in Hong Kong that will serve as the head office for the greater China region.

Pakistan, Vietnam and Iran

These three countries all have authoritarian governments that seek to control the news and information flow to their populations. Social media is an obvious threat to their control of information, so the governments in these Pakistan, Iran and Vietnam have banned these platforms. However, like in China and Turkey, many residents of these countries do have at least some access social media via VPN networks.

[via: BusinessInsider]

[Source: Dadaviz]