Social networks have been with us for over a decade and they have become a part of our daily lives. People end up sharing a lot of content on these platforms and it has crept into sensitive stuff like exams. In its own right, social media is perfect for students to share exam information between each other and Algerian authorities decided to do something about it.
According to Reuters, Algerian authorities temporarily blocked access to popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and others in a bid to stop cheating during high school exams as reported by the state media. “The cut in social media is directly related the partial baccalaureate exams that are taking place on Sunday”, a source quoted by Reuters told the APS state news agency. “This is to protect students from the publication of false papers for these exams.”
Apparently what happened next is that a lot of high school students ended up retaking part of the exams thanks to some details about them were shared over social media. This also ended up in people being arrested by the police including authorities in national education offices as part of an investigation to how these exams were leaked.
This sort of problems are not unique to Algeria. Social media has been used effectively in leaking exam papers. In Kenya, a report revealed how teachers and students used social media platforms like WhatsApp to leak exam copies of the 2015 KCSE exam. This will be an endemic problem and reports of temporary social media blocks will become more common in countries worldwide.