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Lebanon reportedly drops planned WhatsApp tax as protests sweep the country

Lebanon is struggling with an economic crisis.

Lebanese protesters block a main road near Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport on Oct. 18, 2019.
Getty Images

Lebanon has reportedly withdrawn plans to impose a tax on WhatsApp calls as protests across the country continued on Friday. Demonstrators blocked major roads and in some cases set fire to buildings during nationwide protests over the government's handling of an economic crisis and accusations of corruption, reported CBS News. 

The protests were reportedly triggered on Thursday by news that the government planned to impose a daily charge of 20 cents on apps that use VoIP, or voice over Internet Protocol, to make calls, such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber. The government reversed the plan hours later as people took to the streets, according to the BBC.

Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, declined to comment. Lebanon government officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment. 

Editors' note: CNET is owned by CBS.