In yet another clear manifestation of Zimbabwe’s burgeoning digital authoritarianism, the Mnangagwa regime imposed a total blockade on the Internet in a futile attempt to conceal security forces’ “systematic torture” and extrajudicial killing of more than a dozen people during last week’s protests against the president’s hiking of fuel price by 150%.
In yet another example of the burgeoning digital authoritarianism of President Emmerson Mnangaga’s post-Mugabe Zimbabwe, police recently charged a Twitter user for retweeting a tweet parodying Priscilla Chigumba, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica’s scandalous harvesting and use of Facebook user data highlights the urgent need for robust public debate on the emerging problem of “surveillance capitalism” in our increasingly digital society, suggests Jennifer Cobbe, the co-ordinator of Cambridge University’s Trustworthy Technologies strategic research initiative.
Anti-semitism, racism and other prejudices are on the rise in most established democracies. Still, silencing white supremacists on the Internet is counterproductive. It would only lead to more senseless acts violence similar to those perpetrated by Anders Breivik and Rhodesia-inspired Dylann Roof.
While Facebook professes a commitment to stopping hate, harassment and discrimination, the social media behemoth’s reporting policies and human moderators often punish users of color who speak out against racism or justifiably criticize white people.