Ugandan government plans tax on social media

Uganda plans to introduce a new tax on social media users from July, prompting concerns that President Yoweri Museveni is attempting to crack down on opposition to his 32-year-rule. The move is unlikely to go down well in a country where more than 40 percent of people use the internet. Finance Minister Matia Kasaija told Reuters that the tax will levy 200 Ugandan shillings (US$0.027) per day on each mobile phone subscriber using platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook. “We’re looking for money to maintain the security of the country and extend electricity so that…

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The new game of politics – Why social media is so important on the campaign trail

The Illinois gubernatorial election is coming up in November of this year. But if you ask many people in the Metro East or downstate Illinois, it certainly doesn’t seem like it. Politicians used to come to the small communities in downstate as part of their election barnstorming. But this year, the top candidates have spent very little time in southern Illinois. Part of the reason is the power of Chicago politics. The other parts taking the blame range from social media to advertising dollars, and even the diminished power of…

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Old Politics and New Media: Social Media and Malaysia’s 2018 Elections

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A closer look at what social media means for the country’s elections and its future. As the hours count down to Malaysia’s election, the social media blitzkrieg in Malaysia’s last stretch of election campaigning has continued unabated. In Malaysia, using social media to capture votes is hardly a new phenomenon. Yet even in virtual reality, as seen elsewhere in the 14th General Election (GE14), change is afoot. Those most capable of maneuvering these shifting sands will have an edge in GE14, though it remains questionable if an online advantage will…

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More than a million Turks say ‘Enough’ to Erdogan on social media

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ANKARA (Reuters) – More than a million Turks piled onto social media to call time on President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, making the word “Tamam” (“Enough”) a trending topic worldwide after he promised to step down if the people wanted it. “If one day our nation says ‘enough’, then we will step aside,” he said in a speech in parliament. The most popular – and divisive – politician in recent Turkish history, Erdogan has ruled for 15 years, overseeing a period of sharp economic growth and a widespread crackdown against…

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Hate preachers who use social media face tougher sentences

Hate preachers

Hate preachers who use social media to peddle their extreme views could face tougher sentences under new proposals being considered. Influential figures who enjoy large followings on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube could face up to six years in prison if found guilty of inciting violence or hatred. The move, which is currently being considered by the government, is aimed at giving more powers to the courts when dealing with people convicted of serious public order offences. It will allow the courts to hand out tougher punishments to those in…

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Indian expats from UP may get police helpline

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Muscat: Non Resident Indians from Uttar Pradesh (UP) living in the Sultanate may soon receive Oman-specific UP police social media accounts to assist them. This programme would include a Twitter handle, a Facebook page and a WhatsApp number. The accounts would help Uttar Pradesh-domicile citizens in Oman follow up on criminal complaints they may have filed in their home state, have the police check on their elderly parents back home or report any crime that may have taken place on their property in Uttar Pradesh, engage with police initiatives, along with…

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Social media a lifeline for distressed Indian workers in UAE

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Dubai: “Hi, hello! Please help me,” a message popped up on the Facebook page of the Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC) in Dubai at 1.30pm on the eve of International Workers’ Day. The distressed Indian worker from Sharjah was seeking help to settle his dispute with his employer who has not been paying him for three months. In four minutes, he received a reply from the 24×7 help centre asking him to share his contact number or to call them back on their toll-free number 800 INDIA (800 46342). Subsequently,…

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