Freedom House has downgraded Azerbaijan's internet freedom status to “not free" in its recent
, which stated that social media disinformation and surveillance are growing world-wide.
According to the annual report on online freedom, the human rights watchdog ranked Azerbaijan as “not free", falling by one point in the last year to a score of 39.
In the 2018 report, Azerbaijan was among "partly free" countries, having received 40 points, the borderline between the two levels.
The Freedom on the Net 2019 report documents censorship and control of the digital sphere by governments globally.
Azerbaijan is among countries where political, social or religious content is blocked, ICT (Information and Communications Technology) networks are disrupted, and bloggers and ICT users are physically attacked, arrested, imprisoned or killed in custody for their online activities.
Pro-government commentators manipulate online discussions, and attacks against government critics and human rights organizations are highly relevant in Azerbaijan, the report reads.
Freedom on the Net 2019 covers 65 countries in six regions across the globe. The countries were chosen to illustrate internet freedom improvements and declines in a variety of political systems. In five countries, Argentina, Canada, Estonia Iceland and Armenia, which received a score of 76, no key internet controls were observed.