Bloggers, social media users with huge following to be ‘monitored by the state’- Ugandan gov’t orders


Bloggers, social media users with huge following to be 'monitored by the state'- Ugandan gov't ...
The Ugandan Communication Commision headquarters in Uganda. Photo: Courtesy.

The Ugandan Communication Commission has asked social media users and bloggers with a large following to ‘register for monitoring by the state’.

Those who fit the bill are required to have registered with the commission before October 5, 2020.

“Regulation of communication services is intended to promote and safeguard the interests of consumers, operator, viewers and listeners,” a notice by commission reads in part.

Those targeted by the commission include those planning to relay information on: online televisions, online newspapers, audio over IP (AoIP), Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), Video on Demand (VoD), Digital Audio and any other related platforms.

Those who plan to use either of the platforms will be required to obtain a permit that will regularize their communication.

Critics say the new development is a gag order which seeks to silence the media as Uganda gears for a General Election in early 2021.

“Uganda regulator gives social media users, bloggers, etc. with large follows an Oct. 5, 2020 deadline to register “for monitoring by the state”. With polls in Feb. 2021, the🇺🇬 govt repression of free expression is on steroids. The leopard has pimped his spots,” Charles Onyango, a Ugandan Journalist wrote on Twitter.

Under the new rules, online broadcasters will be required to ensure uniformity between the online version and any print versions of the content that may be printed.

Further, online broadcasters will be required to adhere to the laws of Uganda, the code of conduct for broadcasters, the Minimum broadcasting standards and the code of ethics of journalists.

Those found culpable of broadcasting information that is; contrary to public morality, promotes the culture of violence, distorts facts, or is likely to promote violence will have their licenses revoked.

 

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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