Blog Why Zimbabwe shut down its internet—and how citizens are fighting back
Alaa Basatneh January 18, 2019

Why Zimbabwe shut down its internet—and how citizens are fighting back

Zimbabwe’s government has shut down access to the internet, banning its citizens from informing the world of what is happening on its streets. When fuel prices soared to record levels, protestors voiced their displeasure. But without internet access, their voices can’t be heard. Which is why many citizens are now looking for a trusted Zimbabwe VPN to bypass the censorship.

The problem

It is extremely dangerous when governments block citizens’ access to the internet. The Assad regime in Syria during the 2011 protests tried to ban citizens from accessing social media platforms. The intention was to ensure citizens in Syria only have access to local news channels and propaganda, completely stopping communications with journalists outside of the country, and making sure protestors cannot upload eyewitness videos to international news agencies via social media.

As the world’s attention turned to Syria, the Assad regime learned that an internet blackout garners more attention from international communities. So the Syrian forces switched from blocking internet access to slowing down internet speeds; it took 10 minutes to upload a 60 second video.

Like in Syria, Zimbabwe’s government has grabbed the international community’s attention by ordering a social media blackout, and in some cases, a total internet shutdown. The U.N. human rights office recently urged Zimbabwe to stop the crackdown, noting reports of intimidating door-to-door searches by security forces.

Zimbabwe VPN

With apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and more blocked, Zimbabwe citizens are fighting back against the censorship: “VPN, the way to go,” one protestor commented.

People in Zimbabwe need safe access to social media and communication platforms. One way to sidestep the restrictions is by using Hotspot Shield, a free Zimbabwe VPN with over 650 million users worldwide.

By connecting to servers located in a neighboring country, Zimbabwe citizens can use Hotspot Shield VPN to bypass the restrictions and stay connected with friends, family, and the outside world. Their voices deserve to be heard.

Alaa Basatneh
About Alaa Basatneh

Alaa Basatneh is a human rights advocate and writer focusing on demolishing xenophobia. She is the protagonist of the award-winning documentary #ChicagoGirl.

View all posts by Alaa Basatneh
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