Govt imposes tax for using Facebook, WhatsApp, others

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Many Ugandans were on Sunday unable to access social media platforms after the government directive to charge users took effect.

Last month, Uganda’s parliament passed new laws that introduced a new tax for use of popular social media platforms which include WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangouts, Yahoo Messenger, Instagram, YouTube, Skype, and others, reports Daily Nation.

Users of these platforms are required to pay UGX200 (52 cents) daily before they can access them.

“Many Ugandans online unable to access social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp following the government’s directive to tax users UGX 200 daily before they can access them. The directive was effected today (Sunday) at midnight,” read a tweet from NTV Uganda.

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

Meanwhile, citizens have resorted to using Virtual Private Networks in a bid to dodge government’s social media tax. Even this, the government has promised to block.

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