According to Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), social media was mainly blocked to regulate wrong dissemination of information – especially information centered on the ongoing elections. The responsible authorities were worried that some people would misuse social media by “telling lies.” Mobile money transactions were also paused. Apparently, some people were bribing others through mobile money.
Unfortunately, there was no prior announcement that these services would be unavailable at some point. Nevertheless, most people found a way to access social media anyway. If you follow that hashtag #UgandaDecides, you will be amazed.
Yes, UCC had its reasons; but how about the other Ugandans that use social media for other purposes aside from political interests? How about other Ugandans that had businesses to conduct, journeys to make, services and products to pay for; and were hoping to use mobile money, but were put at a standstill without any prior knowledge? Was this put this into consideration?
Right now, one cannot undermine the power of social media when it comes to business. Social media is a powerful marketing tool. For businesses that depend on social media marketing and advertising, wasn’t the move unfair to them?