Daniel Sinclair @_DanielSinclair Building for young people. Not reading @danielsunread. Lurking behind likes and thinking about social media, communication, & China. Jan. 27, 2019 1 min read

Much of the Middle Eastern internet playbook is playing out in Africa. These numbers surprised me: "The [internet watchdog] noted 21 shutdowns across Africa last year and 13 in 2017."  https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/explainer-2019-a-busy-year-for-african-internet-shutdowns-20190121 

With many African countries at the heart of the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative, I would bet we're going to see Chinese Internet Intervention on the continent. Just look at ZTE's growing role in Venezuela — internet infrastructure export is the new state department.

Reminder: WhatsApp is the largest messaging application in Africa, and is poised to become the continent's dominate payment company. Start to look at Facebook's crypto play as a challenger to government intervention.

It's spreading. "In Sri Lanka, government officials ordered the social media blackout within hours after bombs exploded in churches and hotels [marking] the second time in as many years that Sri Lanka sought to prevent citizens from accessing social media"  https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/04/22/sri-lankas-social-media-shutdown-illustrates-global-discontent-with-silicon-valley/ 

The blackouts hit Venezuela, one of the countries partnering with China’s ZTE to roll out mass surveillance technology, and now possibly, a digital iron curtain.  https://netblocks.org/reports/internet-services-restricted-in-venezuela-amid-military-uprising-xAG4RGBz 

"This is the third time in weeks the country has banned social media in the wake of religious tension."  https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/pranavdixit/sri-lanka-has-blocked-most-major-social-networks-after-a 

You can follow @_DanielSinclair.


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