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UGANDA: Google rejects government request


The Ugandan government has asked Google, the American giant, to close 17 YouTube channels accused of being responsible, in November 2020, for certain demonstrations in the country that led to the detention of the opponent Bobi Wine, a presidential candidate.Google simply refused to respond favourably to this request because it considered the reasons too light. 

The Ugandan Communications Commission (UCC) requested the closure of some YouTube channels on 9 December 2020. Indeed, the UCC claims to have received complaints, one of which came from the Minister of the Interior. The Ugandan government’s commitment to these YouTube channels is motivated by the behaviour of some Internet users who would use social networks to disseminate false information. Publications that sow disorder in the country and that violate Uganda’s laws and regulations on communication. 

In its letter to Google, UCC states that the publications on these YouTube channels contain “extremist or anarchic messages, including messages that may incite violence against parts of the public, because of their tribes and political opinions […] and may compromise national security and cause economic sabotage.”

However, the American giant, Google, does not intend to blindly satisfy the request of the Ugandan authorities. It requires stronger reasons to end this freedom of expression on social networks.


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