Uganda to Tax Facebook, Because Users “Gossip”

Uganda appears to be the most recent nation in which free speech on the internet is no longer a given. On Thursday, the Ugandan government passed a law that imposes a daily tax of 200 Ugandan shillings (roughly 5 cents) on people who use WhatsApp and Facebook.

President Yoweri Museveni justified the move citing the need to raise funds that could help the government “cope with the consequences of their lugambo” — a colloquial term used to refer to gossip, spreading rumors, opinions or insults – according to a quote in Ugandan outlet Daily Monitor,

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Critics were quick to call out the Ugandan government for limiting free speech. Only about 40 percent of Uganda’s 40 million people use the internet, and a large chunk of them use WhatsApp and Facebook, according to Reuters. That additional cost will most certainly keep even more people off the internet.