I want us to consider the implications of this new reality: In three of the four most populous countries in the world, governments have now given themselves the power to order that the internet be wiped of citizens’ posts that the authorities don’t like.
Indonesia — the world’s fourth-most populous country, and a democracy — is in the process of implementing what civil rights organizations say are overly broad regulations to demand removal of online speech that officials consider a disturbance to society or public order. Most major internet companies, including Google, Meta, Netflix, TikTok, Apple and Twitter have effectively agreed to go along with the rules, for now.
What is happening in three of the world’s four largest countries — China, India and Indonesia; the U.S. is the 3rd largest — is simpler than that. It fits the classic definition of censorship. Governments are seeking to silence their external critics.
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