Influencers, publishers, and media platforms in Uganda are now required to pay a fee for posting their content online.
Despite drawing the first blood with a social media tax, the Ugandan government has not shied away from controversy and criticism as it carries on its charge on online activities.
Last year, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) made it mandatory for all online data communications service providers to register and acquire licenses that allow them to carry out their communication and commercial services online, although the move later stalled.
This time however, it’s looking like the Commission is not having second thoughts about enforcing it all.
The implication is that online publishers, and other Internet media operators (such as radio and television to begin with) will have to obtain a license that will cost $20 (74,012 Ugandan Shillings) to continue operation.
According to the commission’s head of public relations, this recent development stems from the need to curb the spread of fake news and violence.
“With the growing entity of online publishers, we realised it was important to register these individuals so they are mindful of the law and regulations as they publish their content to the public. As UCC, it is upon us to put into implementation these laws so that just in case of any problems that arise we are able to come up with resolutions,” he said.
About forty online publishers have reportedly registered and received licenses. But to others, yet to acquire publishing right or license as the case may be, the intention of the government is to limit their freedom of speech and censor what they are publishing.
All indications point in the direction of Ugandan government raking billions of revenue off online media practitioners in the country.
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