Islamic Emirate to tax YouTube in Afghanistan


KABUL (SW) – The Ministry of Information and Culture has announced a plan according to which YouTube channel operators will no longer be able to operate freely without obtaining a license.

Abdul Matin Qane, the spokesman of this ministry, has said that so far more than 100 YouTube channels have been registered in this ministry and the purpose of implementing this plan is to prepare YouTube channels with religious, national and social values of Afghanistan.

“The YouTube channels should operate like a media and [its moderators] should consider the rules. The person who works in this department should not be under 18 years of age and should have all civil, political and social rights. In terms of their license, they should have a guarantee bonds of up to 10,000 afghanis, just like a media has a guarantee. They should also pay 4,000 afghanis to obtain a license, which is for three years, and after that they have to renew it again.”

YouTubers, however, have been divided into two groups in response to this restriction of the Ministry of Information and Culture. On the other hand, some criticize this action and say that this plan is a kind of restriction against their activities.

Dawood Nazeri, a YouTuber, said that the implementation of this plan will reduce the income and stop the activity of many Youtube channels.

“This plan is a type of restriction against the activity of YouTube channels, which affects their activity in every way because if they have a free activity, they will not be given a license, which has a great impact on the number of viewers and their income. So this is a matter of concern.”

A number of other YouTube channels that have received operating licenses from the Ministry of Information and Culture say that the implementation of this plan can put YouTube channels on a new path and increase the quality of their work.

Hamid Khorasani, who has been running a YouTube channel for five years, said: “This is very good for people who work in the media because non-professionals do not understand the things they should be aware of. But for people who work in the entertainment sector, this plan is not very suitable.”

However, a number of media experts say that the implementation of the plan to limit the activity of YouTube channels can affect the legalization of media activity.

Hujatullah Mujadadi, the head of the Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association, said: “There is no doubt that the lack of law for YouTube channels was a problem that existed in the media community of Afghanistan in the past, and now it is necessary to obtain a license and the YouTuber must be a graduate of a journalism school or have media work experience. If it is, it can increase the credibility of media work and prevent unprofessional work that was done in the past.”

In the past few years, a significant number of citizens have launched YouTube channels using their available resources and are active in various news, educational and entertainment sectors.