A few months before, the federal government announced a social media code under Article 37 to prevent the electronic crimes act. Illegal Content of the 2020 Rules titled, Removal and Blocking of Online Content (Procedure, Monitoring, and Safety), these rules are designed to prevent illegal information online content from floating by any information system. However, instead of making positive changes, they only created controversy among the people. Updates to Social Media Rules was the single solution.
The new rules make all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) equal to social media companies and apply all the social media platform terms to Internet Service Providers. ISPs are demanding a change in these rules as it will put a burden on them.
Also, many digital activists have accused the government of ignoring the concerns of all stakeholders and removing the clause on the formation of a national coordinator’s office. All technology companies, including Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and the Digital Rights Foundation of Pakistan (DRM), had opposed the rules and requested updates.
Then, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) gave the federal government a tentative April 2 to change the new social media rules. Prime Minister Imran Khan formed a committee to review the rules of social media. Dr. Shireen Mazari, the chairperson of the committee and president of human rights, announced that the committee would finalize and share the recommendations/amendments to the social media rules within a fortnight.
Let’s wait and see what recommendations the committee has made against the new social media rules and whether stakeholders will welcome them or not.