Government Cannot Control Social Media by Force or Ban

Knowledge is power. For centuries leaders have tried to control the flow of information to preserve their rule. Today, the internet is a key part of this strategy. To carry it out, governments have plenty of options, including filtering and blocking content tried-and-true methods for controlling the flow of information online.
The global increase in social media usage since January 2017 is 13%. Saudi Arabia has the largest year-on-year increase in social media users since January 2017 (32%), a 17% increase compared to the global average. Current statistics shows that the number of internet users worldwide in 2018 is 4.021 billion with the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion. The number of mobile phone users in 2018 is 5.135 billion.
Compilation of the most popular social networks worldwide by active users (October 2018) prepared by Statista using data from the Global Web Index panel gives a clear picture of the number of active users with Facebook ruling supreme with more 2 Billion Users, YouTube 1.9 Billion, WhatsApp 1.5 Billion, Facebook Messenger 1.3 Billion & Twitter only 335 Million.
In China, the market is dominated by local Chinese social media outlets. Being protected by this powerful barrier and without the influence of large, western social media. Governments in China, Iran and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf are looking for ways to mitigate blowback as they restrict access to encrypted virtual private networks and messaging apps such as Telegram.
The governments in Turkey and Russia have been especially successful with this approach, engineering laws so they can compel internet service providers to remove offending content quickly. Last month, Uganda began implementing a similar tactic, allegedly to discourage social media use, with the introduction of a tax on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
It is in the interest of every country to protect the integrity of the internet so that it is a tool for development, not a tool for destruction. Social media has reached a point where there is need to set standards suitable for public interest. Pakistan needs to start developing & introducing our own Apps in order to avoid fake news & hate speech with complete control on it. In the end, the ultimate antidote to fake news and bots is the rationality of the human mind.

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