Uganda proposes a tax on social media use

Uganda is reportedly considering the introduction of a tax on social media use, starting July 2018. A proposal put forward by the government would see mobile phone subscribers charged 200 Ugandan shillings (USD $ 0.05) per day for accessing services like WhatsApp, Viber, Twitter, and Skype. According to Quartz, telecom companies whose services are used for accessing over-the-top platforms will have to account and pay excise duty on the services they offer. It is, however, unclear how subscribers will be taxed for social media use (from a practical point of view), and how it will be determined when they access the targeted networks. According to the country’s finance minister, cited by Reuters, the money collected through this tax are to be used to ‘maintain the security of the country and extend electricity’. But human rights activists are concerned that the proposal is an attempt to limit freedom of expression.