Social media started off this decade as an innocent tool to share ‘what’s on your mind’ and stay in touch with loved ones. But as the years have passed social media’s darker side has become so accessible that even the advisers of the better platforms have begun protesting their behavior (or lack thereof). 

A new study appear by Abandon House — a Washington-based pro-democracy group — has also dealt a blow to social media as a whole as it finds it the main reason for crumbling internet abandon in the world. The assay notes that abandon is under siege as some governments are weaponizing social networking platforms to dispense elections, apply censorship, spread disinformation, and adviser its citizens. 

The report titled “Freedom on the Net 2019: The Crisis of Social Media” was appear bygone and included an assay of 65 countries — including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Zimbabwe. Of those countries, advisers found that half showed an all-embracing abatement in their internet abandon score, while only 16 registered “improvements.” Abandon House assured that global internet abandon has beneath for the ninth after year. 

The assay found that the majority of countries are afflicted by avant-garde social-media surveillance programs, with authorities in 47 countries arresting people for political, social, or religious speech online.

Adding to this, currently, there are over 3.8 billion people in the world who have access to the internet and 71 percent live in countries where it’s accessible to be arrested or confined for announcement political, social, or religious agreeable on the internet. 

As appear by Bloomberg, Adrian Shahbaz, Abandon House’s assay administrator and author of the study, explained how techniques currently used by countries to spread bamboozlement and adviser speech online will accordingly abide to evolve as new technologies become more readily available, such as bogus intelligence. “Advances in AI are active a booming, able market for social media surveillance,” Shahbaz said in the research. 

Weaponized misinformation from political parties is now a global problem

Last month, a study by the Oxford Internet Institute found that since 2017, organized social media abetment has more than doubled with at least 70 countries known to be using online advertising to dispense mass public opinion, and in some cases, on a global scale.

Both studies agree that China is the arch country in overextension global disinformation, labeling it as a “major player” and as the worst abuser of internet freedom.

According to the Oxford Internet Institute, this is one of the most cogent developments in the past year because until the protests in Hong Kong this year, most affirmation of Chinese online advertising was found on its own ‘in-house’ apps, including WeChat and Weibo. However, the country is now using global platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to spread bamboozlement which the study notes “should raise apropos for democracies.” 

Freedom House found that Iceland is the arch country in internet freedom, as it registered no cases adjoin people for online announcement over the last year, and maintains strong protections for users’ rights online. 

Read next: Science can’t explain alertness — but panpsychism might crack the abstruseness