|Dorothy Ooko Google’s Head of Communications in Africa.
THE FAST OBSERVER | The head of Communication and Public Affairs for Africa at Google, Dorothy Ooko has said “it is very hard to just have a channel removed due to a government request.”
That was her quick and brief response to a letter by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) requesting Google to take down 17 YouTube accounts that have largely been publishing or live-streaming content from presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi’s campaign trail.
The channels that UCC is targeting have been gaining traction because of the content they publish, most of which is enhancing Kyagulanyi’s messages.
They had more than 59 million views and 300,000 subscribers as of December 15, when URN analyzed YouTube stats of the said channels.
In a letter dated December 9, 2020, to the Chief Executive Officer Google Inc, UCC said that the YouTube channels it listed violated Ugandan laws and that the continued broadcast by the channels might cause economic sabotage and compromise Uganda’s national security.
But for YouTube channels to be removed, Ooko said, the governments have to submit court orders.
“We always follow local law, but it would have to be a valid court order. The letters just show what the UCC submitted to the Embassy; they are not court orders,” she said.