In Egypt a new controversial law that will allow the state to regulate social media users has been passed by parliament.
Under the law, a personal social media account, blog or website with more than 5,000 followers could be considered a media outlet and subject to media law.
Critics say the legislation will increase the authorities’ ability to crack down on free speech and dissent.
A number of opposition activists have been arrested in recent months on charges of spreading false news online.
The new law – passed on Sunday by two-thirds of MPs – placed popular accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms under the supervision of Egypt’s media regulator, the Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media.
The council was also given the power to block websites and file criminal complaints against platforms and individuals accused of offences such as “inciting people to violate laws” and “defamation against individuals and religions”.
On Sunday, Human Rights Watch criticised the government’s use of counterterrorism legislation to prosecute activists and journalists.
Laws passed in 2015 make it a crime to publish or promote any news about terrorist incidents that contradicts official statements.
The government has also blocked hundreds of websites since last summer, including those of news outlets, NGOs and human rights groups.