Citizens in South Africa are boycotting social media every Wednesday until data costs go down.
The high cost of mobile data relative to average incomes in South Africa is currently keeping many people from being able to access information, social media sites and the digital economy. The social media blackout, including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, is meant to give a voice to ordinary people, demonstrating solidarity not in the physical space with demonstrations, but the digital silence, putting the squeeze on telecommunications companies. An ambassador of Blackout Wednesday, DJ Thabo Molefe, said, “data is as essential as food, shelter and clothing” and the modern tech ecosystem he might be right.
Despite the movement, #SocialMediaBlackout has been trending every Wednesday during the protest. Nevertheless, data is beginning to be seen as a basic resource and what’s more, a human right. (Sondem/Fotolia/AP Photo)