Opinion: Trump will not conquer the Silicon Valley

Today, former President Donald J. Trump have launched his Social Media platform – the “Truth Social”, as a part of the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG). This a formed business after a merger with Digital World Acquisition Group (DWAG). The TMTG will have initial growth with the capital from DWAG. So, it is the DWAG who funds the operation and TMTG.

The first launch is the “Truth Social” which is supposed to compete with Facebook and other social medias. That will be a hard battle and not something to easily compete with. Not like other sites haven’t tried and other entrepreneurs has done it’s bidding too. Yes, the hardcore Trump supporters will join in. Just like the few phony Republican’s who bought the “Freedom Phone” too.

That Trump will fight “big tech” isn’t surprising. As Trump needs a new hustle and new scheme to raise funds. Clearly with the evaluation of close to a billion before even launching or having a beta-version out. Heck, there are just pre-pre-signups to it. Therefore, his really betting on another people’s money. While social media haven’t been a cash-cow or an easy way of earning profits. Since, you need research and development. Always need for more updates and reignite to new platforms and versions of smartphones. That is a costly endeavour…

It’s hard to believe that this company will be able to fight the giants now. Since, the owners of other social media are so big, and they have such a “monopoly” over the various fields. In this regard, don’t expect TMTG to be able to compete with Google or Facebook. Heck, they have to battle to even compete with Yahoo. Seriously, they will be a 4Chan and a Reddit level of importance. Some might even say a own stage of IRL Chat or Discord server. Have a hard time believing in the launch or the credibility to beat “big tech”.

I’m old enough to remember Clifford “T.I.” Harris launching the social media site “Streetcred.com” and it never popped off. It was a flair and a try into a new field for the rapper and entrepreneur. However, it wasn’t all that and neither was the features on the sight anything to aspire too. Neither was your friends there or your family. So, it was only a few fans of T.I. and that’s it.

On this site and networks… it will be filled the Trump supporters and the Republicans who feels left out from the rest of the social media sphere. It will be a 4Chan and a Gab. I cannot see this becoming a true a competitor or even can gain so much traction. Since, the established ones have the familiarity and the people on it already. So, it’s a David against Goliath without even a proper tool to sling the stone.

I have a feeling this will be dissolved just like “Streetcred.com” did. Unless, he has enough gullible supporters and rich patronage who wants to fund the losing enterprise. Since, this will not be a winning a place or a profitable enterprise. No, this will be an endless money-pit with few to none avenues of finding places to gain revenue. Therefore, TMTG better hope DWAG gets more investors and financial muscles. They have a mountain to climb and need experienced people to pass over the mountain passes.

Trump has so many failed businesses. This would be another one… wouldn’t be shocked if this followed the airplane, vodka or steaks. Heck, this could be another casino venture of epic failure. So, the ones putting stocks into this and investing. The money is already lost and there will be no way of getting returns on the investment. That capital is gone and so in the name of the company as well. Peace.

Opinion: Def Noodles, the wasted YouTube Commentary Channel…

Def Noodles, if you don’t know about his videos or his content. I hate to break it too you, but your not missing out on anything. The guy behind it all is a man named Dennis Feitosa. A man who is supposed to give you Satirical News on his YouTube Channel. However, that falls flat and isn’t what it seems.

This man is supposed to be a comedian. Nevertheless, it is hard to believe this man ever met a true heckler. Since, everyone who comments or says anything negative on social media gets blocked. Even just association with critical voices is a reason for the comedian to block. If there was a dictatorial comedian. Def Noodles is the character to fit this definition.

Def Noodles could easily need the sort of praise and hand-rubs that dictators gets from their yes-men. He needs the playful interactions like them. Have a 100 people for his every joke and his every move. Surely those cat-ears needs to be appreciated. News read from a Minecraft-house is such a good platform to begin with. It is pure genius. Just like his “irrelevant news”.

He is so slanderous and doesn’t care about research. I think he doesn’t care, as long as he throws a few creators, influencers and tik-toker’s under the bus. Heck, he will drive over them with pallet-cleansers and use the pickle-ice-cream joke to the death of them. That is the sort of man he is. Yes, he is repetitive and we are not even talking about the inflamed-thumbnail on nearly every video has.

Def Noodles could need a team behind him. Since, he clearly cannot even read hashtags and study the things he retweets. As long as they are targeting popular online creators. It is fine and dandy. Especially, if those people have other scandals and he monetize this as well. That is what he does and he pushes it every single day.

It is like he wants to go after all the commentaries on YouTube. He just wants to cancel them, because one fella started to brutally destroy his “show” a few years back. Kavos who had a review-show on his YouTube channel and speaking his peace. That hurt his pride and he could never let it go. That is why everytime someone else has done the same. He has either tried to find something on them or blocked them. Now, his the biggest blocker on Twitter and the blocking tab he has must be longer than voter rolls in China.

Let’s just be clear. For a commentator himself and comedian. He got no spine. Dennis needs to grow some balls. As long as he attacks other online and uses his platform without verified information. Sooner or later he will get into trouble. Hell, someone might find some dirt him themselves. Not only the ill-advised representation of fellow creators or influencers. He might make a wedge and suddenly stumble upon someone with a huge platform and money to bury him.

It is just a matter of time before a case of slander and defamation hits the fan. He cannot continue to say and publish narratives, which isn’t true. No matter if his wearing cat-ears or not. Def Noodles cannot get away with slander, which is destroying people careers and especially asking sponsors to stop associating with other YouTuber’s without any serious proof to the alleged allegations. That is why at some point. Some of the stuff he does will haunt him and someone can point a finger at him.

A man like that should be careful. However, click-bait and the platform of a half-million subscribers make it seem like a good investment of your time. Having over 83 million views since 13th October 2018 is a good achievement. Nevertheless, if that is built on a lie and of slander. It is really a sad way to go out. Building up your own platform and then destroy it. Just because you couldn’t keep your head cool and try to verify the stories your telling. That is really a tragic way of living not only life, but your “reporting”.

Def Noodles could use his platform for good. Instead his so into his own games. That his soon outplaying himself. It is just a matter of time. At some point someone will say: “how dare you speak of me and my family in this way” and they will find some remedies to settle it. Sooner or later, he might get strikes and get demonetized.

What I can say… I used to watch his videos until a few months ago. When my wife spotted the obvious of how repetitive and non-funny he was. Because, during quarantine and such. Videos like him started to pop-up on my YouTube feed. Therefore, I started to watch. Now, I have quit and I don’t regret it.

So my last remark is… that I wish him all the best as a content creator. However, he should be careful. It is always nice to check and research sources. Especially, when you have so many eyes watching and you have questionable actions done in the past. I have deleted and begged forgiveness when I have posted fake things and been in the wrong. That is what a person does and take responsibility for the mistake and the lack of research. As you get caught up in the hype and publish without thinking. I have done that during elections and campaigns, when they have manufactured letters and statements. Therefore, I know the issues and is cautious of doing it now.

That is something Def Noodles should do as well. However, I don’t think he has the heart or the will power to do that. He just want the click-bait and the internet outrage to drive his stats. So, that he get more ad-revenue on his channel. Peace.

Opinion: Ogwang, what behaviour do you mean?

The government is investigating Ugandans, whom it says have been misusing internet and social media platforms before reconnecting all of them back. Appearing before the Information and Technology Committee of Parliament chaired by Dokolo South Legislator Paul Amoru, the State Minister for ICT Peter Ogwang said the full reinstatement of the internet will be dependent on how Ugandans online behave” (NBS Television, 21.01.2021).

The Media Blackout and Social Media Blackout was direct orders from the state directed through government authorities to block all internet gateways. The state has also blocked all social media apps and sites online. The ones accessing these are using VPNs or Virtual Personal Networks to circumvent the blockade of state.

The Foreign Minister Kutesa said they had blocked Facebook and Twitter for “equalities” sake, as the foreign companies had blocked pages and persons affiliated with the government. Today, the Staet Minister for ICT Ogwang says its depends on “behaviour”. What sort behaviour do the honourable minister mean?

Hon. Ogwang by what law and what statutes are you basing this on?

That is something I wondering about. Since, you are not only indirectly blocking all voices on social media and on the internet. However, you are also putting in conditions, which cannot be verified. These conditions is based on certain parameters, which the public cannot get the gist off. Because, what does it mean?

The Minister should really come out with a proper statement and reasoning behind this. As this was a measure not based on actions made by the citizens, but by the powers of the state. Because, the state wanted to keep things in the black. They wanted the truth to be hidden and not expose the obvious election rigging this month. It wasn’t about language, posts or anything in particular.

I was expecting the state minister would say he was afraid of “tribalism” or “inciting violence”. However, he talked about behaviour like the citizens are kids. This is a paternalistic of the minister, but nothing new from this regime.

This is deliberate by the state to silence and ensure several of voices doesn’t come online. If they were sincere. They would have used other arguments and reasons to do so. However, this is just bonkers and ridiculous. The minister knows it and the citizens should know it too.

We know why they did it and this is just excuses to continue it, instead of reinstating it. Which they should have done yesterday or even the day before that. Peace.

‘Yellow Influencers’ Get a Food-Drive!

Last year in 2019, there was reports of a new Social Media Task Force for the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which had up to that point hired 49 people. The NRM already had their Social Media Activists (SOMA). So, they had two units work in co-ordination with each other. This is all attempts to steer the narrative and control the air-waves. Not new in that regard, but using modern methods to hit the public with information.

Just like all the other entities, which are government friendly press like the New Vision Group. The UBC, Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC) and Uganda Media Centre to name a few.

In these COVID-19 lockdown times. The NRM together with the leader of the pack of the NRM Social Media Task Force, Duncan Abigaba have shown that they are feeding 245 bloggers. This is done through the kindness of Muhoozi Kainerubaga or the friends of him. They call them “Yellow influencers or bloggers” because that paint the picture. Even the blogger of Ashburg Katto is in the mix, so it seems its not far from the prison-cell to eating of the hand of the system.

These people will be instrumental to get the right vision ahead of the General Election of 2021. This is why they are even now doing deliveries and feeding them food. They are getting serviced by the state for a purpose. Because, these influencers can sway public opinion on social media and various of platforms. That is why Promoter Baalam and the Social Media Task Force of Abigaba is involved in this.

This is ensuring loyalty, as the payment of some rice and other foods during the pandemic. Will remind these Yellow Influencers whose their friends. They got to eat in the midst of it all, because hey are useful right now and in the future. Their platforms on the various of social media will be vital.

Its like 120 personalities on Social Media and about 120 bloggers, which is getting this treatment. This means these people are included and selected out, because of their writing and their content. This is because Duncan handpicked them and know what their up too.

That is what is striking is the amount of effort and to show their names on social media. These is our folks and comrades. Just go into Duncan Abigaba page on Facebook and the whole list will appear. It expose the ninjas writing and working directly for the NRM.

The Yellow Influencers if you may. The friends of Muhoozi is allowed to give these foods without any reinforcement of police nor any meetings with authorities. Because, they are working in-directly for the efforts for the state. This is partisan politics at its best. That information is being dropped on the day the UPF disclaim everything about Zaake whose healing after torture. That is the sort of state the Republic is in.

Where Yellow Influencers can get a food-drive by the Son-of-the-President. But opposition doing the same to his constituents are healing in the hospital after meeting the authorities. That is the double standard and the realities on the ground.

That Baalam and Abigaba is above Zaake is now clear as day. That the Yellow Influencers are important is clear too. They will be a tool into the elections and the campaigns, spreading the message of the “Yellow Bastard”. Peace.

Opinion: OTT Tax on Data Bundles is like a dual-VAT

“URA Commissioner General Doris Akol told the Finance Committee of Parliament chaired by Henry Musasizi that the controversial OTT Tax will be charged directly on data instead of mobile money to curb the evasion” (NBS Television, 14.01.2020).

I wonder if Doris Akol has thought this through or is winging it? As she see the losses and lack of results, revenue or tax base with the 200 shillings of doom. The whole OTT Tax is to expensive for the public daily. Now, she wants to move it and indirectly tax it instead.

Surely, they will get revenue, but this will make it more expensive to buy data-bundles for the customers and make the packages more viable. VPN and similar networks to circumvent the usage and payments of the daily OTT Tax have beaten the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). That is why URA does this now.

It is a sign of defiance and civil disobedience. They are trying to patch the hurt. But will this succeed? Will more try to only load data through Wi-Fi networks and wireless networks in general. Not load so much data on the go. Because, people are smart and tries to undercut extra taxes. Especially, when on the data is already paid VAT and the Mobile Company pay their taxes on the profits too.

Therefore, URA and Akol seems fishing. They will raise revenue, but also make the data bundles more expensive and with that stop plenty of people from buying bigger data bundles for surfing online on your smart-phone.

That is just the mere reality. It is a sign, yet again that the OTT is a failed project, who didn’t hit the targets and wasn’t measured right. If it was, the aim and the bargain wouldn’t be like this. That is not happening.

This method is a clever way of adding the costs of data, while charging for service not necessarily used. The OTT Services, which is the reason for why these are charged. Because, the data could be used for other things and therefore, is violating its attempt to make it costly for certain usage on online.

This is again, pushing one story, pushing one tax and trying to tax the public by any means. When the hook doesn’t work, they use the crook. Instead of doing directly, they want to do it indirectly and initially in some way adding a separate VAT on data-bundles masked as OTT Tax. That is really it.

We all know this, URA verify it today. That the only things certain in life is death and taxes. Thanks Akol for reminding us. Peace.

OTT Tax: Totally failed its supposed revenue targets in 2018!

Today, the Uganda Communication Commission released their annual sector performance report of July 2019. It was really a bit funny look, as the state, the President and all of his handlers said the Over-The-Top Services would create a tax-base and revenue, which would benefit the state. That is why Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) had set up targets to streamline these new taxes.

I will show more of the fun and explain, as the UCC report really shows how malfunction and lack of due diligence hurt. But first a previous calculation, which was stated to the media. To show how much lack of tax-base the OTT had in 2018, as it was implemented in July and keeps pushing to this date.

Look:

Daily Monitor Reports: “Government collected Shs20.5b from social media in the last quarter ended September, according to data obtained from Uganda Revenue Authority. The tax, which was implemented in July, was however, less than the Shs24.9b target that URA had hoped to collect in the period. URA has a monthly target of Shs8.3b. The tax was introduced in the Excise Duty amendments of financial year 2018/19 requiring all social media users to pay Shs200 per day, before accessing certain platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter, among others. Government intends to collect about Shs100b before the end of the 2018/19 financial year” (Christine Kasemiire – ‘OTT raises Shs20b in first quarter, URA fails on targets’ 07.11.2018).

Let’s first do the math, accordingly, as the URA monthly target is 8,3bn shillings in revenue, every single month. A quarter of a Financial Year is 4 months. In today’s UCC report, it shows the numbers for the Q3 and Q4 of 2018. Which means, that states revenue from July-September and October-December in the previous years. By these standards its 8,3bn X3 to get the supposed of any given Q. That is 24,9bn shillings is estimated to earn per quarter.

However, the UCC report states that in the Q3, the revenue was 12,696,558,400 or 12,6bn shillings which is only about half of the anticipated revenue. The final quarter or Q4 isn’t much better:12,952,833,800 or 12,9bn shillings. Of the estimated earnings, the state is nearly able to gain about half of its target. The market and the consumers are not contributing or using the phones as much as they thought. What is striking if you combine the two quarters of revenue is that the state earned approximately 25,5bn shillings, which is sadly just above one quarter estimate of the URA in supposed revenue on this tax. The estimated earnings of the period would be about 49,8bn and this shows the state managed a deficit of about 24,3bn shillings. That is about on quarters earning not happening at all. Thats a giant shortfall of cash and the URA/UCC needs to explain the Ministry of Finance this one, because this a major loss of promised funding for the state.  

This shows how failed this tax is and what a waste of enforcement and making the tax in its first place. This isn’t fun and games, but a way of misusing power to tax people, just because you find something obnoxious. That is how it seems, since the President want to stop the gossip online and such. Stop spreading of information and ensure that poorest cannot afford to get online and use the OTT services. Because, that what this tax does. Peace.

NRM plans to get activated online: A Company of paid Social Media Activists!

That’s the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything.”Noam Chomsky

The National Resistance Movement is steadily preparing for 2021. By every initiated move, they are trying to make it feel relevant and have a message to sell. It is not enough to have the Uganda Media Centre, Uganda Broadcasting Company, New Vision Media House, Government Citizen Interaction Centre or even the Ministry of ICT, whose all trying to peddle the message and image of the NRM.

Still, these are not enough. That is why the NRM have gotten a NRM Social Media Activists (SOMA). If this wasn’t enough, the NRM had already hired about 59 people for a Social Media Task Force run by Duncan Abigaba. Where one part of the team had specialists serving various of social media sites, while the same task force had hired 14 people to run the program on Twitter. This was leaked in August 2018. So, the team has been in play a while, but who knows how operative or even successful it is.

Yesterday, there is a new revelation. Not with a significant new change, but certainly a continuation of the building a digital task force and spin machine for the world wide web. Where they hope to spin enough and overlook enough to get the people to catch their bait. Either by the hook or by the crook. That is just what the NRM does.

The news yesterday, was that the NRM plans to hire a 100 Social Media Activists for all the republics regions, to represent all of them and spread the message. This is certainly a progression to the ones working for Abigaba who was hired last year for his Task Force. These will maybe fall in under his mission and umbrella. To ensure, that the NRM are acting correctly and getting the right image online.

We can clearly see t that Bosco, Mr. Sunday, Yoseri or Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are active online. Even if he has proclaimed there is only rumours and waste of time on Social Media. He himself is there and claimed to be biggest, most followed Ugandan on Twitter. Surely, there is a lot of paid bots on his followers page. Trust me on that one.

However, this is just a sign of the Don Wanyama’s, the Andrew Mwenda’s and whatnot of direct supporters, even Morrison Rwakakamba or whoever else spreading the words of old man with the hat. They will be now repeated a lot more and the self praise will hit levels that not even Soft Power and Sarah Kagingo would manage. That is what the NRM is preparing. They need the loyalists, the ones praising every move the His Excellency is doing. That is just the way it is.

If this is continued of the Task Force of last year, if it is hiring the ones in NRM SOMA. Surely, they will sooner or later, kick and scream because the NRM cannot manage to pay their salaries. They are there for a payday, not because they believe in the vision of the old man. They are not volunteers, but paid activists. Just like the ones paid to demonstrate before too. Staged nightmares waiting to appear. Peace.

MTN Uganda Not Subjected to an ISO Raid on Friday 15 February 2019 (16.0.2019)

MTN Uganda Scandal: Why are all of these people deported?

There are speculations going on there as the biggest Telecom Company MTN Uganda Limited have been under fire since the midst of January 2019. This has been shown over the recent month, as the leadership and executives have been deported. By my count since mid of January, there been four people.

The three firsts was addressed like this by MTN Group:

MTN Uganda has not been officially notified of the grounds for these arrests and deportations and is trying to establish the precise reasons for the deportations. We are understandably concerned about these developments and the wellbeing of all our employees. MTN Uganda is fully committed to respecting and operating within the laws of the country. Notes to the editor: On Saturday, 19 January 2019, the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer, Olivier Prentout, was arrested by police at Entebbe airport upon arrival from a business trip abroad. On the morning of Monday 21 January 2019, the MTN Uganda Head of Sales and Distribution, Annie Bilenge Tabura, was arrested by unidentified security personnel upon arrival at the MTN headquarter offices, in Kololo, Kampala. Subsequently, both Mr Prentout and Mrs Bilenge have been deported from Uganda to their home countries, France and Rwanda respectively. On the 22 January 2019, Elza Muzzolini, Head of Mobile Financial Services was also deported from Uganda. – Issued by MTN Group Regulatory and Corporate Affairs” (MTN Group, 23.01.2019).

Therefore, three people has already been deported, this being Prentout, Tabura and Muzzolini. They have all been banished from the Republic. Today, it has escalated again, as CEO Wim Vanhelleputte, whose also has been interrogated and been questioned by ISO/CMI during January 2019. Was today on the 14th February 2019 deported to Belgium by the authorities.

Clearly, the state is retaliating, as they are fearing for their safety and the data shedding the company is doing. As there been speculation that the company has had disgruntled staff leaking intelligence to Rwandan Intelligence Service. This has been reported by various of online news-outlets. Therefore, some thinks it is connected to this, that the President and the regime is afraid of this. That is why these people are all deported from the Republic.

It is clear, that there something going on behind the scenes. As the Security Organizations summons, interrogate and deport MTN executives from the Republic. This is happening, as the state are trying to silence the MTN or stop leaked intelligence to Rwanda. We don’t know if that is true or what. But what we do now, is that the Ugandan government and authorities are acting swiftly and retaliates against the high-ranking officials within the Telecom. Peace.