In the West, in parts of the East, in the so-called First World, social networks are moving day by day like addiction. Messaging apps like WhatsApp, posts like Facebook and small messages like Twitter keep us connected and inform us of what’s going on – the perfect and recent example being the two days Twitter kept covering the PSOE blame movement against Mariano Rajoy for the second, or Zidane’s sudden departure from Real Madrid. Here it is hard for us to imagine a day away from them, but other places such as the Republic of Uganda, a sovereign country located in East Africa, do not look like that.
WhatsApp tax in Uganda
The Ugandan Parliament has passed a controversial law today Called “Social Media Tax”, it consists of A daily fine of 200 Ugandan shillings (about 0.04 euro cent to change) for anyone using social media sites and messaging apps. Using Twitter on your PC, upload something to Facebook on your mobile phone or Send WhatsApp It will be considered an action that applies to tax, so you will have to pay for messaging on WhatsApp. It may seem a completely ridiculous amount, but bear in mind that the average annual per capita income in Uganda – the amount of money an individual earns annually – was €570 in 2016, 2.5 million Ugandan shillings at the exchange rate. Whoever uses the net will receive 200 shillings per day After 365 days it becomes 60,000 shillings.
The million Ugandan shillings question: What is the purpose of this tax? Well, it comes from Dear President Yoweri Museveni, A strong advocate for the idea, because he thinks so Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or WhatsApp encourage an atmosphere of “gossip”.‘, gossip to use a more traditional synonym, something the president does not seem to want to happen among his countrymen. So, On July 1, the social network tax will come into effect. Of course, what is not clear is how the Ugandan government will monitor citizens to see if they are using the networks, nor how taxes will be collected.
Uganda is not alone
Given that promoting gossip seems like a cheap excuse to organize something as important as social media, according to the BBC, there may be a deeper reason behind it, a political angle, since President Museveni was campaigning for power in the 2016 election, he was The first thing he did Suspend access to applications and social platforms.
The funny thing is that Uganda is not the only country that wants to limit the use of social networks, apps and messaging among its citizens, since Papua New Guinea recently announced that it will block access to Facebook for an entire month To analyze the way its residents use the social network. The question that comes to our mind is, is it really necessary to shut down a network for verification?
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