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Government aims to control social sites

By Our Reporter
The government has tabled a Bill on Information and Technology Management at the Parliament recently incorporating different restrictive provisions on the operation of social media sites in the country. Becoming more restrictive in nature, the government is preparing to introduce provisions in the aforementioned bill including the mandatory registration of all social media sites at the Department of Information (DoI).
The government has said that the bill is being introduced to regulate social media operation in the country.
As per the Bill on Information and Technology Management, any new social media site has to be registered at DoI.
Meanwhile, the government was criticised for its move to curtail the freedom of expression by trying to control the social sites.
Likewise, the government and the ruling Communist Party of Nepal drew public flak for forcing singer Pashupati Sharma to remove its popular song from youtube.
It was reported that the youth wing of the CPN threatened Sharma compelling him to remove his song.
And the case of singer Sharma suggested that the government was heading to control the freedom of expression, which was also evident from the bill it presented in the Parliament.
The bill has also introduced a provision whereby ‘unnecessary’ postings on social media sites will be penalised with fine or imprisonment, or both fine and imprisonment. As per a provision in the bill, unnecessary postings on social media sites with the intention to undermine the country’s sovereignty, national security, national unity and other cultural and religious bonds will be penalised with up to Rs 1.5 million fine or up to five years of imprisonment or both depending on the nature of the offence.
Similarly, the bill has also restricted people from posting materials that undermine other people’s dignity and other materials that create havoc in the society. Similarly, anyone defaming people’s character without sufficient evidences will also be liable to face the aforementioned punishment.
All these provisions are being introduced not to control social media sites but to curb the misuse of social media platforms, said the government officials.

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