In Morocco, the Internet sector is dominated by three main Internet Service Providers (ISPs) : Maroc Telecom (Itissalat Al-Maghrib), Orange Maroc and Inwi. Maroc Telecom is the oldest telecommunication company in Morocco and thus has virtually all the control over the telephone cable infrastructure. Today, it is partly owned by the State and by the Emirati company Etisalat. Orange Maroc, formerly known as MediTelecom, is the Moroccan division of the French telecommunications company Orange. Finally, Inwi is a subsidiary company of the Moroccan royal holding group SNI and Kuwaiti consortium Al Ajial-Zain.
The online outlets listed in the research are, for the most part, news outlets that do not belong to a larger media structure. In fact, only two of them are attached to a print outlet, although their content differs from one another. Due to the difficulty of obtaining reliable audience numbers for online outlets, we have relied on the following methodology: we have cross-checked the numbers given by Alexa/Amazon (that remained consistent for two dates: 28th September 2017 and 15th October 2017) with those of Similar Web (that also remained consistent for two dates: 28th September 2017 and 15th October 2017) and selected news portals that appear on both rankings. The approach to the online media selection was the same as for print outlets: we have compiled two lists, one in French and another in Arabic, given the fact that a smaller proportion of the population consumes its news in French, and French-language outlets were de facto penalised.
In its latest report about online freedom published in November 2017, the US-based organisation Freedom House, ranked Morocco "partly free". In fact, according to the report, online news outlets receive "unofficial directives not to report on controversial issues, or not to allow certain voices to be heard" and "debates on issues related to the monarchy do not make news, although social media users openly tackle taboo subjects".