A senior government official Tuesday said the new social media rules were a step forward towards regulating online content and to protect users from abuse, fake news, blasphemous content and hate speech. The new rules have been conceived to protect the masses from online negativities and were not an attempt to ‘control’ social media as was being projected by some NGOs and activists, the official said.
The ‘Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards) Rules 2020’ prepared under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act were meant to regulate the online content, he said. ‘The rules are designed to block and remove fake news and propaganda against country’s national security institutions, blasphemous content, hate content and other sensitive material that violates cultural and ethnic norms of the country,’ the official said.
‘Rules are designed to block and remove fake news and propaganda against country’s national security institutions, blasphemous content, hate content’. He said Pakistan has been facing an unprecedented onslaught of hybrid warfare due to regional and extra-regional realignments. ‘It is imperative for the State to defend itself against this invasion of chaotic cyber activity and stop an unhealthy ingress impacting social fiber of the society,’ the official said. He said the incumbent government has shown the will to enact laws and implement those for better management of the internet environment.