Fast Facts: Internet Freedom Trends in 2015

From removal of content LGBTI issues, to a crackdown on satire, governments around the world expanded online censorship in 2015.

Over 3 billion people have access to the internet. According to Freedom House estimates:

61% of internet users live in countries where criticism of the government, military, or ruling family has been subject to censorship.  

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34.3% of internet users live in a country rated Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2015, as shown in purple on the map below. 


34% of internet users live in countries where LGBTI voices have been silenced or where access to resources has been limited by the authorities. Of the 65 countries assessed, 14 targeted LGBTI content for censorship on moral, religious, or other grounds. 


45% of internet users live in countries where posting satirical writings, videos, or cartoons can result in censorship or jail time. Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani was sentenced to 12 years in prison, on charges of insulting state officials and spreading propaganda, for posting this image on Facebook. It depicts members of parliament as animals as they cast votes on proposed legislation to limit reproductive rights. Cartoonists around the world are using the hashtag #Draw4Atena to share artwork drawn in solidarity with Farghadani.


58% of internet users live in countries where bloggers or ICT users were jailed for sharing content on political, social, and religious issues, as shown in the map below. Of the 65 countries assessed, 23 censored online content featuring the political opposition. 

To learn more about internet freedom around the world, check out the new report Freedom on the Net 2015.