Social media sites blocked as online freedom shrinks further
In April 2016, the North Korean regime announced a block on all major social media sites such as Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. This move worsens a situation in which freedom of expression is already strictly controlled and monitored by the state. In this context, people who access restricted information or express dissent against the regime can be punished with imprisonment or death. In May 2016, ahead of the 7th Korean Worker's Party Congress, foreign reporters were allowed into the country to cover the event but were tightly controlled and monitored. All interviews had to be approved and pre-arranged and no proper information was provided to the delegation ahead of schedule. Many of the reporters resorted to getting information through other sources outside North Korea. A BBC journalist, Rupert Wingfield Hayes, was detained and later expelled from the country for reporting on the leader, Kim Jong-Un, in a "disrespectful" manner and "insulting the country's dignity."