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IT ministry notifies implementation of new social media rules

Federal minister reassures it won’t curtail Pakistanis freedom of expression

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 14, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 days ago
Posted: Oct 14, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 days ago

The ministry of IT and Telecommunication has notified on Thursday the removal and blocking of unlawful online content (procedure, oversight and safeguard) rules of 2021.

Federal Minister for IT Amin ul Haque said that under the amended laws, Pakistani users will have full freedom of expression.

New rules will play important role in communication between social media platforms and users, the minister said.

Some of the key amended rules are as follows:

  • There will be a ban on live streaming of hateful, vulgar, and violent content
  • Social media companies will be bound to remove content that goes against the sanctity and security of Pakistan
  • Promoting vulgar and immoral content will be a cognizable offense,
  • Social media platforms and service providers formulate community guidelines and educate users about them.
  • Negative content against any person, content on anyone’s personal life will not be allowed.
  • Any content that goes against the cultural and moral values of a Pakistani society will also be banned.
  • Social media companies will have to follow Pakistani laws and safeguard the rights of users.
  • Any content that could adversely impact the mental and physical development and moral values of children will be banned.
  • Amended rules will apply on all social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Google Plus.
  • Social media platforms will open permanent offices in Pakistan
  • All social media companies will register with the PTA and set up data servers within three months.
  • Companies will establish an online grievance redressal mechanism and issue community guidelines.
  • The issues reported to the companies will be resolved within seven days without revealing the identity of the online complainant.
  • Violation will result in a fine that could be as high as Rs500 million.

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