Taxing Dissent: The Impact of a Social Media Tax in Uganda

@article{Boxell2019TaxingDT,
  title={Taxing Dissent: The Impact of a Social Media Tax in Uganda},
  author={Levi Boxell and Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld},
  journal={Political Economy - Development: Fiscal \& Monetary Policy eJournal},
  year={2019}
}
We examine the impact of a new tool for suppressing the expression of dissent---a daily tax on social media use. Using a synthetic control framework, we estimate that the tax reduced the number of georeferenced Twitter users in Uganda by 13 percent. The estimated treatment effects are larger for poorer and less frequent users. Despite the overall decline in Twitter use, tweets referencing collective action increased by 31 percent and observed protests increased by 47 percent. These results… Expand

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