The rise of social media platforms provides many opportunities to the more than half a billion internet users in Africa, including increased access to information and extended social networks. However, these platforms pose new challenges to protecting the safety of journalists.
Social media advocates have historically lauded its ability to facilitate democratic progress by connecting people over space and time, enabling faster and wider mobilization than ever before. However, in recent years, this optimism has faded, and platforms have also become effective tools for dictators looking to spread disinformation and propaganda. Today, the social media ecosystem is a hotly contested sphere of political influence rife with disinformation, hate speech, and even violence.