Tanzania commences enforcement of new online blogging law as websites shut down



As reported previously in the CIVICUS Monitor, Tanzanian whistle blowing blogging site, Jamii Forums, shut down its operations following the government’s enforcement of harsh new online content regulations. In enforcing the, Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018. The Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA), disallowed publishing of online content without the necessary licences, effective Monday 11th June 2018. 

According to the Tanzanian government, these regulations are intended to put a stop to the "moral decadence" caused by social media and the Internet in the country, while also claiming that social media is a threat to Tanzania's national security.

In an interview with The Citizen , Mr. Maxhence Melo, the owner of Jamii Forums, stated as follows:

“It is obvious that our platform was being targeted when this regulation was formulated”

Days after Jamii Forum’s closure, several other bloggers followed suit and shut down their operations. Darmpya Blog, Makonda media and Innowisetz were among those that voluntarily shut down their blogging sites to avoid the consequences of non compliance with the new harsh regulations.