‘Immoral content material’ on social media will now be punishable

— AFP/File
— AFP/File

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication on Thursday issued Social Media Rules 2021 beneath which authorities will take motion in opposition to any particular person posting “immoral content” on social media platforms.

Federal Minister for Information and Technology Amin-ul-Haq, in an announcement, stated the amended rules would give Pakistani customers “full freedom of expression” beneath Article 19 of the Constitution, nevertheless, the promotion of “immoral and obscene” materials can be thought of a felony.

The rules will act as an necessary bridge between Pakistani customers and social media establishments, whereas the businesses should abide by native legal guidelines and make sure the rights of customers, the federal minister stated.

The rules will ban reside streaming of extremist, terrorist, hateful, obscene, and violent content material, Haq stated, including that social media shops can be required to take away content material that violates Pakistan’s “dignity and security”.

The federal minister stated that in view of the brand new rules, unfavorable content material in opposition to folks and content material associated to the personal lifetime of others might be banned.

Similarly, content material in opposition to Pakistan’s cultural and ethical values, youngsters’s psychological and bodily improvement might be banned, the federal minister stated.

New rules direct social media corporations to make sure the next in three months of them coming into power:

  • Register themselves with the Pakistan Telecommunication (PTA);
  • Appoint an authorised compliance officer, based mostly in Pakistan, for making certain compliance with the provisions of the Act;
  • Appoint a devoted grievance officer based mostly in Pakistan for the redressal of grievances acquired by him in opposition to on-line content material.

‘Unnecessary layer’

The director of digital rights agency BoloBhi Usama Khilji stated the brand new rules add yet one more “unnecessary layer” to the federal government’s social media administration, as he slammed the move.

“The composition and chairing of this working group is telling of the state’s view of social media matters: headed by the national security advisor, missing the human rights ministry, sidelining the IT Ministry, which should be responsible for coordinating these matters, and ignoring the government’s heavily funded digital media wing,” he added.

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