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Federal govt. enforces Social Media Rules 2021

The federal government has enforced Social Media Rules 2021! In this regard, official notification has been issued by the Ministry of IT and Telecommunications (MoITT).

Under the new regulation:

  • Social media platforms will open permanent offices in Pakistan within six months.
  • 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.

Federal Minister for Information and Technology Amin-ul-Haq, in a statement, said the amended rules would give Pakistani consumers “full freedom of expression” under Article 19 of the Constitution, however, the promotion of “immoral and obscene” material would be considered a felony.

He stated that under these laws, live streaming of extremist, terrorist, hateful, obscene, and violent content would also be banned and in this regard, social media outlets would be obliged to remove content against the dignity and security of Pakistan while Social media companies must abide by Pakistani laws and the rights of social media users. These laws will play an important role in liaising between Pakistani users and social media organizations.

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The federal minister said that under the new rules, no negative material would be used against any person and uploading of material related to the personal lives of others on social media would also be banned.

In addition, the use of material that contradicts Pakistan’s cultural and moral trends, the mental and physical development of children, and the destruction of morality will also be banned.

He further added that social media organizations and service providers would formulate community guidelines, while all social media organizations, including YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Google Plus, would have to abide by the rules.

Following the issuance of the notification, social media companies will have to set up offices in Pakistan as soon as possible, and social media companies will also appoint their own authorized officers for Pakistan.

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Saman Siddiqui

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