Uganda taxes social media users as Mongolia bans its workplace usage


UGANDA’S parliament has passed a law to tax those who use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Viber, and WhatsApp.



The controversial tax was first introduced in April after the country’s president, Yoweri Museveni, wrote a letter to the treasury stating that social media encouraged gossip that was costing Uganda time and income.


The tax, which came into effect on June 1, imposes a 200 shilling ($0.05) levy per day on those who use social media platforms, but it’s unclear how it will be enforced. About 17 million people, or 41 percent of Uganda’s total population, use the internet, and there doesn’t seem to be a definitive plan on monitoring how and when social media sites are accessed.


Uganda’s Finance minister, Matia Kasaija, justified the law saying, “We’re looking for money to maintain the security of the country and extend electricity so that you people can enjoy more social media, more often, more frequently.”


In Mongolia, the government has banned civil servants from using social network sites including Facebook, Twitter and Youtube while at work. The ban, which took effect on 29th May, targets civil servants.


The ban is intended to prevent cyber attacks and to ensure the safety of government information networks. According to a statement released by the Communications and Information Technology Authority, Mongolia’s General Intelligence Agency will help monitor the ban’s implementation.


On March 9, 2016, government workers in Tanzania have been banned from using social media and chat apps during work hours. Transport and Communication ministry officials have been warned that “gossiping” on social media will lead to dismissal. It is not clear how the ban will be enforced amidst increasing social media popularity.


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