Online journalists and bloggers are increasingly choosing to write anonymously due to harassment, the threat of legal action, or both, particularly on issues regarding politics and corruption involving government officials.
Social media users tend to express themselves more freely online, but a growing belief that the government monitors social media activity has made users more cautious in recent years. Meanwhile, progovernment trolls are becoming increasingly common on social media platforms such as Facebook, typically flooding posts that are critical of the government with insults and comments on unrelated issues. Some observers suspect that the government may be paying the trolls to disseminate progovernment propaganda. Social media outlets, particularly Facebook, have played an important role in mobilizing Zambian citizens around a variety of social and economic issues, such as land reform, the mining industry, and taxes.
In 1996, the government demanded the removal of a banned edition of from the newspaper’s website by threatening to hold the internet service provider (ISP), Zamnet, criminally liable for the content.
There were no other reported incidents of internet censorship until July 2013, when four independent online news outlets were blocked, purportedly by the government for their critical coverage of the Patriotic Front (PF) ruling party under President Michael Sata.
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