There are a lot of places where criticising the government can get you harassed, beaten, arrested, jailed or even killed. And as internet use has exploded across the globe, more online activists, citizen journalists and bloggers are being targeted by authorities who don't want their dirty secrets revealed or their repressive rule criticised.
Hard time in Vietnam
Vietnam has just handed out harsh prison sentences to three bloggers who exposed government corruption and misconduct. The three received draconian sentences of between four and 12 years, shortly after prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung announced a new crackdown on bloggers.
Officials claimed the outspoken activists are "terrorists" and call their blogs "a wicked plot of the hostile forces."
But one anonymous blogger defiantly told the Associated Press, "Nobody can shut our mouth or stop our freedom of expression. This is our mission. We will continue at any cost."
Their bravery is especially impressive given the Vietnamese government's brutal record of suppression. The press freedom group Reporters without Borders has documented harassment, assaults, intimidation and more against bloggers who anger the regime. Since July, two other bloggers have been given jail terms of five and six years for "anti-government propaganda".
The Dishonour Roll
Things are grim in Vietnam, but it's not the only country to persecute bloggers and other citizen journalists. In its 2012 Press Freedom Barometer, Reporters without Borders showed that there are 127 netizens in prison around the world, and many of them have been incarcerated for years.
So, where are the most dangerous places to be a blogger?
1) China – 67 jailed
Michael Anti is a journalist and a political blogger who is known for his writings on freedom of the press in China. His Facebook account was deleted because his name is a pseudonym (AFP/Getty)
2) Vietnam – 19 jailed
A policeman tries to stop a foreign journalist from taking pictures outside the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court where Pham Minh Hoang, a French-Vietnamese lecturer and blogger stood trial. The blogger was imprisoned for a year and a half (AFP/Getty)
3) Iran – 18 jailed
A picture of supporters of Iran's defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi was posted on Twitter's photo-sharing website TwitPic (AFP/Getty)
4) Syria – 17 jailed
A screen grab shows the main page of the Syrian parliament's official website after it was hacked by Syrian opposition activists (AFP/Getty)
5) Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, Thailand and the Palestinian territories – 1 each
An Egyptian reporter for Islam Online demonstrated outside the Qatari embassy in Cairo against alleged efforts by the website's management in Qatar to assume editorial control (AFP/Getty)
Learn more: The Persianbanoo blog details the persecution of bloggers in Iran and the struggle of democracy activists in the Islamic Republic
Sources: NY Times, Radio Free Asia, Guardian, ABC News, Reporters without Borders, Persianbanoo