Uganda asks YouTube to shut down 14 channels

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 26: In this photo illustration the mouse cursor is pictured on the YouTube logo on March 26, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo Illustration by Florian Gaertner/Getty Images)

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has asked YouTube to close at least 14 channels the government claims helped mobilized riots that resulted in the death of more than 50 people and left several injured in November.

TMO online, Lumbuye Fred, Trending Channel Ug, Uganda Yaffe, Uganda News Updates, Ghetto TV, Busesa Media Updates Uganda Empya, Map Mediya TV, KK TV, Ekyooto TV, Namungo Media, JB Muwonge 2 and Bobi Wine 2021 are among the channels listed in the government’s complaint.

The riots broke out in Kampala on November 18, 2020 and spread to other parts of the country following the arrest of National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as, Bobi Wine.

A  YouTube spokesperson says the Ugandan government would have to submit a valid court order before any channel is removed. According to YouTube, the UCC has only submitted a request to the US Embassy.

The company says it takes complaints like this seriously but will not base its decision on government feelings but on facts.

This is not the first time UCC is approaching a tech giant to block Ugandan based channels, in the past, they tried to reach Facebook to remove Facebook accounts based on similar claims but Facebook rejected the request.


Story compiled with assistance from Uganda Daily Monitor and wire reports