Around the world, internet users are caught between governments’ efforts to regulate online harms and social media platforms, which alternate between ignoring the problem and launching broad crackdowns on user speech. Accountability challenges persist across both contexts. But while these challenges are common around the world, both governments and social media platforms face peculiar regulatory challenges in the African context.

In the last decade, public protests have been amplified on social media platforms while the space for public engagement has continued to grow, all of which are efforts to consolidate democratic development both offline and online. However, these efforts are undercut in African countries by problematic regulation.