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Ministry of Informatics Notifies Rules to Regulate Social Media Platforms

| Live streaming of extremist, terrorist, hateful, obscene and violent content will be banned

ISLAMABAD – The Federal Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications on Thursday published a notice in the Gazette of the revised 2021 social media rules, after which it became mandatory for all social media institutions to comply.

In this regard, Federal IT Minister Syed Aminul Haq said that the state of Pakistan has a responsibility to protect the basic rights of people, their lives and property. He said: “In this digital world, there are distinct online issues concerning the public.”

In this scenario, the Minister said that the protection of citizens’ online data, their social, moral and religious rights is essential and inevitable. The rules of social media cover all of these reservations and rights concerns, said Minister of Information Technology Syed Aminul Haq. The Minister said, “Our goal is to provide the people of Pakistan with a clean and healthy environment free from the elements that spread hatred, evil and lawlessness,” he said.

He added that the most important thing was to create an enabling environment for Pakistani social media users to earn legitimate money through social media or share positive thoughts, constructive posts with encouragement and a sense of protection. In this regard, the establishment of respective social media institutions in Pakistan will be an important step.

After the notification is published, social media companies / platforms with more than 500,000 users in Pakistan will need to register with the PTA.

It will be mandatory for social media organizations to establish their offices in Pakistan (as soon as possible) after the notification is released, said Aminul Haq, Minister of Information Technology. Social media companies will appoint their own knowledgeable agent who will be aware of grievance issues and will be the authorized agent for the company. He said live streaming of extremist, terrorist, hateful, obscene and violent content will be banned.

According to Syed Aminul Haq, under these rules, if there is a technical complaint about any content on social media such as offending someone, propaganda against the state / religion, institutions or self-esteem or personal immorality, then the complainant’s forum will be PTA.

He said there were basically 18 social media rules and there were many sub-paragraphs.

After approval by the federal cabinet, an official notification was released on Thursday. It came into effect immediately, the IT minister said.

Haq added that under the new change, the definition and scope of the complainant has been clarified and government employees, government departments and ministries have also been included, and now they too will be able to file a complaint. complaint. He said that the full freedom of expression of users on social networks will be in line with the rights enshrined in article 19 of the Constitution.

According to the rules, users will register their complaint according to the proposed procedure for removing objectionable content (the details of which are specified in the rules) from social media. The authority will be required to keep the name and identity of the complainant confidential so that his life and property are not endangered. The authority will have the power to request any type of information necessary from the complainant.

The complaint will be dealt with within 30 days and after the completion of all necessary questions, the social media company will have 48 hours to remove the objectionable material, the minister said.

He added that if the social media company does not remove the content within 48 hours or give no concrete response, then the competent authority can impose the temporary / permanent closure of the social media platform or impose a fine. up to Rs. 50 crores.

Federal Minister Syed Amin-ul-Haq further said that the new change further clarifies the state of emergency under which the instructions issued by the authority on the publication of blasphemous material, terrorism or hate speech against national security agencies. Social media companies will then be required to remove objectionable content within 12 hours instead of 48 hours.

Misinformation about Islam, the defense of Pakistan and public order will be a punishable offense, the minister said.

Advertising blasphemy, immorality and pornography will also be a crime. Social media organizations and service providers will formulate community guidelines, the IT minister said.

The guidelines will provide users with information on downloading content. Negative content related to a person will not be uploaded.

Content related to the privacy of others will also be prohibited. Content that contradicts Pakistan’s cultural and moral tendencies will be prohibited.

Materials related to the mental and physical development and moral destruction of children will be prohibited. All social media, including YouTube, Facebook, Tiktok Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, will be bound by the rules.

st, hateful, obscene and violent content will be prohibited

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