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Information Control and the Covid-19 Crisis

Image courtesy of The White House/Flickr.

This article was originally published by Political Violence at a Glance on 4 March 2020.

Many states have long relied on various forms of information control, such as surveillance and censorship, as part of their approach to governance. With the development of advanced digital technologies, states have new tools to monitor citizens, restrict communication, and manipulate information. While observers have expressed concerns that information control violates human rights and suppresses citizen influence in governance, the Covid-19 virus highlights another area where government information suppression can have pernicious consequences: public health.