A few months back, the federal government announced Social media rules under section 37 of the prevention of electronic crimes act. Titled, Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight, and Safeguards) Rules 2020, these rules were designed to prevent the floating of unlawful online content via any information system. However, instead of making any positive changes, they only caused controversy among people. Revisions to Social Media Rules was the only solution.
The new rules placed all the internet service providers (ISPs) at par with social media companies and implemented all the provisions of the social media platforms to the ISPs as well. ISPs demanded changes in these rules as it will just put an extra load on them. Moreover, some digital activists were also of the opinion that the government has ignored all the concerns of stakeholders except for deleting the clause over the establishment of the Office of National Coordinator. All the tech companies including Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and Twitter, as well as the Digital Rights Foundation of Pakistan (DRM) had opposed the rules and asked for revisions to them.
Revisions to Social Media Rules will be Presented within fortnight
Later on, The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had given the federal government a tentative date of April 2 to amend the new social media rules. Prime Minister Imran Khan formulated a committee to review social media rules. Dr Shireen Mazari, Federal Human Rights Minister and Chairperson of the committee announced that the committee will be completing and sharing recommendations/revisions to social media rules within a fortnight.
This morning the Comm on revisiting social media rules held its 4th consultative meeting. We have now met with all the stakeholders, their lawyers & the IHC petitioners plus the social media platform reps. We will be completing/sharing our recommends/revisions within a fortnight.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) April 19, 2021
Lets and wait and watch what recommendations the committee has made to the new social media rules and will they be welcomed by stakeholders or not.