Taxing Social Media
Most of us have at least one social media account we use everyday. We have various reasons for using social media: news, sharing content, and connecting with friends and family, etc., Imagine having to pay for social media? This is what the government of Uganda has recently decided to do. The government says it need the additional tax money to deal with the consequences of gossip that occurs on social media. They did not provide examples of how social media cost them financially.
Citizens in Uganda and elsewhere argue that the tax is the government’s way of silencing critics. The Ugandan government is basically controlling their own people. They know most citizens are too poor and cannot afford to pay for social media use. However, some in Uganda are finding ways to still have their voices be heard. Some are rather paying to use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access social media. VPNs allow them to access the internet and use social media without the government knowing. If VPN users are caught, they can be prosecuted and even face jail time. For some Ugandans, the risk is worth it as social media gives them a chance to question their government.