Uganda dating online members site

• Internet penetration in Uganda dropped from 47 percent to 35 percent in the first three months after social media tax introduction.

• Journalists noted a significant decline in the level of engagement with readers and sources via social media platforms.

Since 2013, the government has spoken of introducing a social media monitoring center “to weed out those who use it to damage the government and people’s reputations.” The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the government regulatory body of the communications sector, first called for regulation of social media platforms in 2016 with the executive director of the authority stating that “self-regulation is not sufficient and additional regulatory tools such as public supervision, legislations or even administrative measures are required.” Two years later, in July 2018, the UCC published a notice calling for online content providers including online publishers, news platforms, and radio and television operators to “apply and obtain authorization” for the provision of these services—potentially threatening access to information and free speech.

In July 2018, the government of Uganda implemented a tax on individual users of social media platforms.

In the first three months following the introduction of the tax in the country, internet penetration dropped from 47 percent to 35 percent.

Initially, the government took a progressive approach to this growth toward a more connected world.

Indeed, the state mirrored widespread interest in the use of the internet as an engagement channel by, for example, developing social media guidelines for ministries, departments, and agencies to support the principles of open government, and seeking “public collaboration in finding solutions to problems.” However, this evolution has been accompanied by an increasingly vocal citizenry—one that is readily using technology to demand accountability and transparency, and push back against oppression.

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This new excise duty went into effect on July 1, 2018, and now users of these platforms and other over-the-top (OTT) media services must pay 200 Ugandan shillings (approximately 5 US cents) per day to access these sites.

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