Many people claim that social media has become integral to our lives and has become the central hub for communication and news. However, some also argue that it disrupts their lifestyle and can be used as a tool for propaganda.
It appears that the Ugandan government associates itself with the latter bunch, with the country now imposing a daily tax on users of certain social media platforms.
According to the BBC, the Ugandan parliament has passed a law which charges Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, and Twitter users a daily tax of 200 shilling ($0.05). While this may not seem like much, it is important to note that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) places Uganda at a position of 160 among 187 countries, ranked by GDP per capita.
President Yoweri Museveni spearheaded the law, emphasizing that imposing a tax on social media usage is the way to prevent gossip on the aforementioned platforms. He also argued that the law would allow Uganda to pay off its national debts.
As expected, the tax has faced criticism from residents of the country, with many claiming it to be a ploy by the government to curtail freedom of expression. The law will come into effect on July 1, however, it is not yet clear how the Ugandan government will enforce it.