Impact of OTT tax on social media usage among university students: case study of School of Statistics and Planning, Makerere University
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The objective of the study was to assess the impact of OTT tax on social media usage among university students. The study employed a cross-sectional research design where a sample of 100 third year students from the five courses at School of Statistics and Planning, Makerere university were interviewed using a well-designed questionnaire programmed in Kobo-Collect APP installed on smart phone to facilitate electronic data collection where the responses would be sent to the server after interview. The collected data was exported to STATA version 15, for data processing and analysis. In the results, on average, respondents were aged 23 years. Slightly more than a half (53%) of the respondents were males, and a considerate percentage (62%) of respondents were residing in hostels and university halls. On the aspect of social media usage, most the respondents used WhatsApp (96%), Facebook (88%), Instagram (69%) and twitter (69%) platform to communicate with friends, class mates and family member, for academic research and getting informed about current affairs. Since the introduction OTT tax only 53% of the respondents pay the tax to access social media, 91% uses Wi-Fi and 59% use VPN. As regard to the impact of OTT on social media usage, there was a decrease in the number of times respondents accessed social media per day. For instance, before OTT tax 78.00% of the respondents were accessing social media more than 10 times a day but after introduction the tax only 33.00% accessed social media more than 10 times a day. More so, 28% were no longer using some of the social media platforms and surprisingly some of the respondents did not know how to pay OTT tax. Bivariate and multivariate analysis showed that most of the independent variables (age, sex and course of study) were not significantly associated with the impact of OTT tax on social media usage except place of residence, students staying at home had a 85% lesser chance than students staying in halls to be affected by OTT ( OR=0.15). The researcher recommends need for government and policy makers to revise or amend OTT policy in order increase the social media usage among citizens especially students that need to use the social media platforms in their academic activities especially research.