Taxing social media is like taxing you for saying or hearing a specific word or sentence on the phone, or every time a certain show is broadcast on the TV.
This is absurd, and a violation of free speech, as it discriminates content. It is an attempt to control information exchange by discouraging it. The ulterior motive is usually manipulation of the citizens to keep them in line in absurd regimes, and/or to avoid the outside becoming aware of their internal issues.
Separately, these idiocies implemented by people that do not understand how the internet works undermines fundamental security aspects by being incompatible with proper cryptographic security measures. You cannot, for example, serve a portal instead of a properly configured HTTPS site without your browser noticing, so HTTPS needs to be blocked first.
Is it? Then why do you pay taxes to use VOIP? Is internet not a carrier, while TV & phone are services?
Services purchased that use the internet as a carrier may be taxed as any other financial transaction, but in that case, the internet itself is still a neutral medium that does not discriminate traffic. Being non-discriminatory does not mean that you cannot pay Netflix a monthly fee, with VAT and other applicable taxes, to give you an account.
Thus, it's just the price of the service your are purchasing, none being related to how it is delivered.
It would be more absurd if different brands of beer were taxed differently.
I don't think it's going to work out well given the lack of standardized information floating around, but the impetus is does not have to be entirely unreasonable, even if in this situation it probably is.
That different services cost different things with different taxes is not a problem.
However, with a beer analogy, it would be a special tax on transportation of beer (including bringing it home from the store), which seem a lot less sensible than just pricing beer and bread differently.
After all, the internet is an information transport, and it was a tax on using the internet for certain things (social media).
But if they are taxing on the service level, ie FB or What's App, then no, it's just information they are taxing. They could feasibly just use 'packets' or 'IP' as a crude measure of that service.
Is it? After the shenanigans that have been uncovered with recent elections (specifically referring to the US and Britain, I’m sure there are others) is ‘free speach’ really anthing that is being defended by opposing this tax?
This tax is in direct opposition to free speech, so opposing it defends free speech. It is, however, only a single battle in a very long war.
The problem is that the citizens get access to all social media taken away through taxes that most would avoid. Social media is also Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Snapchat, WeChat, Weibo, QQ, ...
It is not suddenly okay to block free speech by limiting/removing access to social media, just because one of these social media are known to censor content in other ways. One crime does not justify the next.
It seems like an obvious thing to tax the airing of a show on TV. I'm in favor of the taxation of every 30 minute slot on TV and Cable.
This maybe makes sense to me because I'm a natural person (i.e. not a corporation), so everything I receive or produce or give away is taxed.
Taxing social media would be more akin to placing a tax on documentaries, or all content containing a narrative by Morgan Freeman.
Although, the enforcement would be on delivery for social media (i.e. ISP reports social media traffic), so cable TV that detects if your TV is on during documentary broadcasts would maybe be a better analogy.
This sounds like a dystopian nightmare. Where do you live?