Millions of Ugandans have stopped using the internet after the country’s government imposed a social media tax intended to curb online gossip, according to the Guardian.
Nearly 2.5 million citizens have stopped using the internet following the tax, which charges 200 Ugandan shillings a day.
The tax has caused concerns over free speech and access to financial services via mobile banking.
“Social media has become the major source of news and political information,” Irene Ikomu, a Ugandan lawyer, told the Guardian. “Heightened exposure to information via the internet has led to Ugandan citizens being more critical about political conditions in the country.”
In America, similar issues have risen with the dismantling regulations of net neutrality–equal access to the internet. In 2017, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to end some regulations, allowing for internet providers to charge more for certain content.
Uganda Communications Commission officials expect the drop in internet usage to subside after consumers get used to the recent changes.