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News release

Majority of Ugandans prefer unrestricted access to Internet and social media, Afrobarometer survey shows

13 Jan 2021 Uganda

A majority of Ugandans want unrestricted access to the Internet and social media, Afrobarometer survey findings show.

Among the six in 10 Ugandans who are aware of social media, large majorities say these platforms keep people informed and enable them to have more impact on political processes. Even though many also say social media makes people more likely to believe “fake news” and more intolerant of people with different opinions, a majority of citizens say the overall effects of social media are mostly positive. Ugandans are more likely to blame politicians for knowingly sharing false information than social media users and activists.

Two days ahead of Thursday’s general elections, Uganda's Communication Commission (UCC) ordered all social media and message applications to be blocked after Facebook blocked some pro-government accounts. While the Uganda government rejects the idea that a foreign entity should decide for Ugandans who should or should not use social media, these survey results highlight the value that ordinary Ugandans attach to using social media.