AS the #Zimshutdown continues and enters its second day, there are reports that the Zimbabwean government has allegedly shut down the internet.
The government has reportedly ordered the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to shut down the internet as a way of suppressing the spreading of the riots over social media.
According to a Zimbabwean technology publication TECHZIM, they received e-mails from their readers complaining about access to social media sites.
“Not just on mobile networks, ISPs like Zol and TelOne aren't loading social media sites and Gmail,” Tondie Mudambo said on Twitter.
However, many Zimbabweans have been using virtual private network (VPN) which enables users to send and receive data while remaining anonymous and secure online.
Another user Africa Strategist who seems to have been VPN said: “#Zimbabwe government shuts off the internet and continues to use state resources against her citizens as #ShutDownZimbabwe enters second day.
Little live news coming as citizen frustration takes over and people Infor MDC’s request for non-violent protest.”
This wouldn’t be the first time a government shutdown the internet as a means to suppressing the ability for its citizens to mobile through social media.
In 2011, during the Egyptian revolution, which is also known as the January 25 Revolution – the government in an unprecedented move shutdown all internet connections and its cellphone services.
While in Iran, after the 2009 contested presidential elections – the citizens of the country used social media to organize demonstrations.
However, Iran throttled the internet speed for the social media users to feel frustrated with not being able to connect over the slow speeds.
At this day and age, it might seem impossible that a state would suppress its citizen’s views and rights to communication.
But these countries have done so, it might seem in an effort to curb the mobilizing power of social media.