— AFP/File

The Ministry of Data Expertise and Telecommunication on Thursday issued Social Media Guidelines 2021 below which authorities will take motion in opposition to any particular person posting “immoral content material” on social media platforms.

Federal Minister for Data and Expertise Amin-ul-Haq, in a press release, mentioned the amended guidelines would give Pakistani shoppers “full freedom of expression” below Article 19 of the Structure, nonetheless, the promotion of “immoral and obscene” materials could be thought of a felony.

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

The foundations will ban stay streaming of extremist, terrorist, hateful, obscene, and violent content material, Haq mentioned, including that social media shops could be required to take away content material that violates Pakistan’s “dignity and safety”.

The federal minister mentioned that in view of the brand new guidelines, unfavorable content material in opposition to folks and content material associated to the non-public lifetime of others will probably be banned.

Equally, content material in opposition to Pakistan’s cultural and ethical values, kids’s psychological and bodily improvement will probably be banned, the federal minister mentioned.

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

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

‘Pointless layer’

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

“The composition and chairing of this working group is telling of the state’s view of social media issues: headed by the nationwide safety advisor, lacking the human rights ministry, sidelining the IT Ministry, which needs to be answerable for coordinating these issues, and ignoring the federal government’s closely funded digital media wing,” he added.

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