Denmark, Sweden and Norway have been hailed as the world’s top countries where freedom of expression flourishes, said a news report in the wake of World Press Freedom Day.
Many reports have been generated about the amount of unregulated online content that has spread disinformation and propaganda ‘amplifying political divisions worldwide’ and fanning international tensions it also said.
On this occasion RSF secretary-general, Christopher Deloire said in a press report that “The creation of media weaponry in authoritarian countries eliminates their citizens’ right to information but is also linked to the rise in international tension, which can lead to the worst kind of wars,” and he urged countries to adopt appropriate legal frameworks to protect democratic online information spaces.
The situation where freedom of speech is controlled by governments is “very bad” in a record 28 countries, according to this year’s ranking of 180 countries and regions based on the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists.
The lowest ranked countries were North Korea (180th), Eritrea (179th) and Iran (178th), with Myanmar (176th) and China (175th) close behind.
Hong Kong’s position plummeted dozens of places to 148th, reflecting Beijing’s efforts to use “its legislative arsenal to confine its population and cut it off from the rest of the world”, RSF said, while Russia sitting at 155th and ally Belarus at 153rd were also on its red list of the most repressive, while Nordic countries Norway, Denmark and Sweden again topped the index, serving as a democratic models “where freedom of expression flourishes”.