PTA commences registration of social media companies with services in Pakistan

Nov 15, 2021: As per the new social media rules, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has begun the registration of social media companies, both international and local.

Companies like Twitter, Facebook and TickTok will have to fill out a registration form and send it to PTA via email or post. According to the spokesperson of the authority, the applicants will have to explain the basis of the company, details of the service and its user base in Pakistan.

On the other hand, companies with more than 500,000 subscribers will be given a separate form. Last month, the Ministry of Information and Technology passed a notification enacting new social media laws.

Some of the ammendments made are include; Social media companies to register with PTA within three months, Social media outlets will have to establish an office in Pakistan and PTA to give 48 hours, instead of 24 hours previously, to a social media company for removing or blocking access to online content.

Pakistan’s IT Minister Aminul Haq said that the new laws would give Pakistanis full freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Constitution. The new order will help the country stay in touch with social media companies. Haq pointed out, however, that live streaming of extremist, terrorist, hateful, obscene and violent content is prohibited. “Social media companies will be responsible for removing content against Pakistan’s integrity and defense.”

Most importantly, immoral and obscene content will be banned as well and “no individual will be allowed to hurt other’s feelings”. To monitor these things, the companies have been told to formulate community guidelines.

Amin ul Haque added that the rules will apply to all social media outlets including Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Google.

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