Battling the economic crisis, the Lebanese government announced on Thursday plans to impose a $0.20 daily tax on other apps such as Facebook, Messenger and FaceTime, which provide internet searches, especially WhatsApp. Following this announcement, the people began to protest this decision, security forces and the public clashed during the demonstrations.
Soon after the WhatsApp Protest turned into a government protest, the government halted plans to tax internet searches. In the meantime, let us point out that this protest has come to the fore as the largest in Lebanon in recent years.
The action, which began as a WhatsApp protest, soon turned into a public protest against the country’s economic crisis and governance. In addition to shouting slogans, demonstrators also took actions such as burning tires in the surrounding area and damaging nearby vehicles. Security forces, tear gas intervened in the action, some activists were injured during the intervention.
As part of the halted decision for now, the government would collect an annual income tax of $250m from nearly 3.5 million Voip users. Meanwhile, during these protests triggered by the WhatsApp tax, activists also protested taxes on fuel, food and bread. Likewise, activists are protesting forest fires and sectarian discrimination.