According to data Open Net obtained through requests for information, online censorship by the election commissions is rapidly increasing. The number of online postings ordered to be deleted went from 1,726 during the 2012 National Assembly election to 17,010 in 2016 and 53,716 in 2020. As for the Presidential election, the number of internet postings ordered to be deleted went from 7,159 in 2012 to 40,222 in 2017 and 86,639 in 2022.
The free flow of information is essential for a democratic election. The fact that election commissions can order the deletion of internet postings critical of candidates without judicial review severely infringes voters’ right to free speech and poses the danger of distorting public conversations during election periods. Open Net calls on the National Assembly to repeal Article 82-4 of the Public Official Election Act.
Available for download: Election Commissions’ Internet Postings Deletion Order 2012-2022