Uganda has passed a law that requires online publications and social media influencers to be registered to the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). This is just one of the scrutiny’s the Ugandan government has been imposing on the country over the rise of social media usage.
The order is just a follow up of the March 2018 notice issued by the UCC which stated that all online data communication providers including “online publishers, online news platforms, online radio, and television broadcasters” be registered by the commission at a $20 fee.
According to UCC, all “online publishers and influencers who have reached a capacity of sharing communication content and also using the online publication for commercial business are required to register with the regulator.”
The law has been criticized referring to it as a way of the government to stifle freedom of speech online. According to the regulator, their principal intent is to have the online publishers and influencers “mindful of the law and regulations as they publish their content to the public,” said the Head of Public Relations Ibrahim Bbossa via New Vision, a Ugandan online publication.
The mandatory registration of online publications and influencers follows the imposition of tax on social media by the Ugandan government back in 2018. Surprisingly, despite social media taxation, UCC has reported an increase in social media usage since.