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PTA begins registration of social media companies

Implementation of new social media rules commences

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 15, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 15, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
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Under the new social media rules, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has begun the registration of social media companies, both international and local. The companies, such as Twitter, Facebook and TikTok, will have to fill a registration form and send it to PTA either via email or post. According to the authority's spokesperson, the applicants will have to explain the foundation of the company, details of the service, and its userbase in Pakistan. Companies with more than 500,000 subscribers will, on the other hand, be given a separate form. Last month, the Ministry of Information and Technology passed a notification imposing the new social media rules. Here are the amendments that were made: Social media companies to register with PTA within three months.Social media outlets to establish an office in Pakistan. PTA to give 48 hours, instead of 24 hours previously, to a social media company for removing or blocking access to online content. Aminul Haque, the IT minister, said that the new rules will give Pakistanis full freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Constitution. The new ruled will just help the country stay in contact with social media companies. Haque pointed out that there's, however, a ban on live streaming extremist, terrorist, hateful, obscene, and violent content. "Social media companies will be liable to remove content against Pakistan's integrity and defence." Immoral and obscene content will be banned as well and "no individual will be allowed to hurt other's feelings". To monitor these things, the companies have been told to formulate community guidelines. Haque added that the rules will apply to all social media outlets including Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Google. 
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Under the new social media rules, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has begun the registration of social media companies, both international and local.

The companies, such as Twitter, Facebook and TikTok, will have to fill a registration form and send it to PTA either via email or post. According to the authority’s spokesperson, the applicants will have to explain the foundation of the company, details of the service, and its userbase in Pakistan.

Companies with more than 500,000 subscribers will, on the other hand, be given a separate form.

Last month, the Ministry of Information and Technology passed a notification imposing the new social media rules. Here are the amendments that were made:

  • Social media companies to register with PTA within three months.
  • Social media outlets to establish an office in Pakistan.
  • PTA to give 48 hours, instead of 24 hours previously, to a social media company for removing or blocking access to online content.

Aminul Haque, the IT minister, said that the new rules will give Pakistanis full freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Constitution. The new ruled will just help the country stay in contact with social media companies.

Haque pointed out that there’s, however, a ban on live streaming extremist, terrorist, hateful, obscene, and violent content. “Social media companies will be liable to remove content against Pakistan’s integrity and defence.”

Immoral and obscene content will be banned as well and “no individual will be allowed to hurt other’s feelings”. To monitor these things, the companies have been told to formulate community guidelines.

Haque added that the rules will apply to all social media outlets including Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Google. 

 
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One Comment

  1. Kashif  November 15, 2021 9:44 pm/ Reply

    Interesting development…
    1. Are all the social media companies getting shut down (like TikTok) until they register?
    2. What constitutes “hurt other’s feelings”? This could (should) encompass a lot of religious content as well, as the country is more sensitive to religious sectarianism compared to anything else.
    3. What happens if Google, Facebook or Twitter refuse to register under the said rules? Can Pakistan afford to shut them down in the absence of any comparable local technologies?

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