Uganda wants US-based, Google to shut down at least 14 YouTube channels allegedly used to mobilize riots in November.
According to the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), platforms such as YouTube are being used to publish, disseminate, and/or broadcast content that goes against the Uganda Communications Act of 2013 and Regulation 8 (2) of the Uganda Communications (Content) Regulation 2019.
The channels include; TMO Online, Lumbuye Fred, Trending Channel UG, Uganda Yaffe, Uganda News Updates, Ghetto TV, Busesa Media Updates and Uganda Empya.
Others are Map Mediya TV, KK TV, Ekyooto TV, Namungo Media, JB Muwonge 2 and Bobi Wine 2021.
The chaos witnessed last month left at least 50 people dead and others nursing injuries following the arrest of Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
UCC said the decision to write to Google was occasioned by complaints complaints the Internal Affairs minister, who chairs the National Security Council and the Uganda police Force.
The Yoweri Museveni-led government noted that the aforementioned channels misconstrued facts hence misleading the public.
“[They contain] extremist or anarchic messages, including messages likely to incite violence against sections of the public on account of their tribes and political opinions … [and] may compromise national security and cause economic sabotage,” stated UCC’s letter to Google dated December 9.
“Wherefore as the regulator of the communications sector in Uganda and in accordance with Section 5 (1) (b), (j), (x), 6 and 45 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the commission hereby implores Google to block access to the following YouTube accounts.”
UCC wants Google to “stop aiding and abetting” any further breach of Uganda’s regulatory and penal laws via their platforms.
Uganda also wants Google to review and revise YouTube operations to ensure that it is not used to circumvent the legal and regulatory requirements of the Republic of Uganda.
The commission further urged Google to ensure content broadcast in Uganda via YouTube complies with Uganda’s Minimum Broadcasting Standards.