It is unacceptable to continue restricting Online Civic Space in Tanzania.
Yesterday, on February 15, 2023, Internet Performance Monitor netblocks reported that the social audio platform Clubhouse was blocked by multiple Tanzanian Internet service providers. The move was made after Clubhouse users in Tanzania complained on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram about difficulties using and accessing Clubhouse. However, Internet Performance Monitor- netblocks today February 16, 2023, have reported that access to the Clubhouse social streaming platform is being restored in Tanzania a day after being made unavailable. It should be noted that the social audio platform Clubhouse is frequently utilized by Tanzanians to discuss a variety of social, political, and economic topics. This is due to the fact that this platform allows more individuals to join and discuss a wide range of topics pertaining to their country.
This will not be the first time for the authorities in Tanzania to weaponize digital platforms. It will be remembered that The internet shutdown in Tanzania started on the eve of the general election in October 2020 and kept going for a couple of months, authorities. In the event that the internet was shut down, the victims would include not only politicians, but also businessmen, social media influencers, bloggers, and YouTubers, as well as ordinary social media users.
Authoritarian governments use this strategy to violate people's right to information. The method is said to be useful for election tampering and suppressing freedom of expression.
These incidents of restricting and blocking online civic space are serious violations of human rights and should be condemned by all supporters of democracy and the rule of law. These instances should serve as an alarm for the 2024 local government elections and the general elections in 2025 in Tanzania.