Uganda passes tax law on social media users to stop ‘gossiping’ online

Uganda’s parliament has passed a law to tax those who use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Viber, and WhatsApp, as reported by BBC.

The law imposes a 200 shilling [$0.05, £0.04] daily levy on people using internet messaging platforms.

President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the changes, arguing that social media encouraged gossip.

The law should come into effect on 1 June but there remain doubts about how it will be implemented.

Those who are in opposition to the law say it infringes on freedom of expression and is a way for Museveni to stifle opposition to his presidency. In 2016, access to social media platforms was shut down in Uganda during presidential elections. At the time, Museveni said the decision was made to “stop spreading lies.”

Social media have become an important political tool in Uganda for both the ruling party and the opposition.

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