Social media restricted in Guinea amid political unrest

NetBlocks metrics confirm the restriction of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms in Guinea-Conakry on Wednesday 17 May 2023. The measure comes as authorities call in the army to assist police in dealing with planned protests.

Real-time network data show the restrictions in effect on the Republic of Guinea’s leading mobile providers Orange and MTN. The study is taken from a sample size of 860 measurements from 18 vantage points across Guinea. This class of disruption can be worked around using VPN services, which are able to circumvent government internet censorship measures.

What’s happening in Guinea?

The Guinean government has announced the requisitioning of the army to support the police and gendarmerie in maintaining law and order amidst the call for new unauthorized demonstrations by activist groups. The decision aims to prevent a sense of general insecurity and protect the physical integrity of citizens and their property.

The government cites its duty to maintain public order and refers to relevant laws governing the maintenance of public order in Guinea. The involvement of the armed forces is referred to as a temporary measure to address the challenges posed by the demonstrations. Nevertheless, the decision will impact the ongoing debate regarding the balance between citizens’ right to protest and the need for public order and security.

NetBlocks recommends against the use of network disruptions and social media restrictions, given their disproportionate impact to fundamental rights including freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

Further reading:



Internet performance and service reachability are determined via NetBlocks web probe privacy-preserving analytics. Each measurement consists of latency round trip time, outage type and autonomous system number aggregated in real-time to assess service availability and latency in a given country. Network providers and locations are enumerated as vantage point pairs. The root cause of a service outage may be additionally corroborated by means of traffic analysis and manual testing as detailed in the report.

NetBlocks diffscans, which map the IP address space of a country in real time, show internet connectivity levels and corresponding outages. Purposeful internet outages may have a distinct network pattern used by NetBlocks to determine and attribute the root cause of an outage, a process known as attribution which follows detection and classification stages.

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