Social media companies with more than 500,000 users will be required to register with the PTA. Photo: File
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Federal Minister for IT Syed Aminul Haq said that our aim is to provide a clean and healthy medium to the people of Pakistan which is free from the elements that spread hatred, evil and riots. Consumers share positive thinking, constructive posts through social media. Encouraging and protecting them is to create a conducive environment for them. For this, the establishment of offices of relevant social media institutions in Pakistan will be an important step, the Ministry of Information Technology said. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has issued a gazette notification of the revised Social Media Rules 2021 to regulate the media.
The Federal Minister said that after the publication of the notification, social media companies with more than 500,000 users, platforms will be required to register with PTA, and it will be necessary to set up offices in Pakistan as soon as possible. Appoint an officer who will be aware of the grievance redressal issues and will be the authorized officer of the company.
According to Amin-ul-Haq, under these rules, if there is a technical complaint about any content on social media, such as hurting someone, propaganda against the state, religion, institutions, or an individual’s self-esteem or immorality, then the complaint forum p. The TA is basically a set of 18 rules of social media rules and its many sub-clauses which elaborate on the protection of Pakistani citizens on social media use and regulations regarding social media companies.
The Federal Minister for IT said that after the court order, the stakeholders were once again consulted and a committee set up by the Prime Minister headed by Dr. Shirin Mazari prepared the final draft of the rules following these views, with some changes. The draft has been approved by the federal cabinet, after which a formal notification has been issued, after which it has come into force immediately.
Syed Amin-ul-Haq further said that under the new change, the definition and scope of the complainant has been further clarified and government employees, government departments and ministries have also been included in it, ie now they too will be able to register a complaint. Full freedom of IGion for users on social media will be in accordance with the rights enshrined in Article 19 of the Constitution. The name and identity of the perpetrator must be kept confidential so that his life and property are not endangered. The authority will have the power to request any kind of necessary information from the complainant. The complaint will be processed within 30 days and after completion of all the necessary matters, the social media company will be given 48 hours to remove the objectionable material. If the social media company fails to remove the content within 48 hours or does not give any concrete response, then the competent authority may impose temporary or permanent closure of the social media platform or impose a fine of up to Rs. 50 crore.
Federal Minister Syed Amin-ul-Haq further said that the new change further clarifies the state of emergency under which instructions issued by the authority on posting 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, banning live streaming of extremist, terrorist, hateful, obscene and violent content. Misinformation about Islam, Defense of Pakistan and Public Order It will be a punishable offense.
Social media organizations will be obliged to remove content against the dignity, security and defense of Pakistan. Dissemination of blasphemy, immoral and obscene content will also be a felony. Social media organizations and service providers will formulate community guidelines. Users will be informed about uploading content. Negative content related to any person will not be uploaded. Content related to privacy of others will also be banned. Content that contradicts Pakistan’s cultural and moral trends will be banned. Content related to the mental and physical development and moral destruction of children will be banned. All social media organizations including YouTube, Facebook, Tik Tak, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus will be bound by the rules.