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Nepal Government Proposes Social Media Regulation

April 29, 2024
Nepal Government Social Media

The Nepalese government has initiated a bill that aims to bring social media platforms under the purview of its media regulations. The ‘Bill to Amend and Consolidate the Law on Media Council proposes major changes in how these platforms are monitored and supervised.

Key Provisions

  • Redefining “Communication Organization”: The bill redefines “communication organization” to include social media platforms, YouTube channels, blogs, vlogs, and even Facebook and Twitter accounts of online media outlets.
  • Expanded Oversight: If passed, the bill will bring these outlets under the supervision of the Media Council, responsible for monitoring compliance with journalistic codes of conduct and taking action against violators.
  • Source of Investment Disclosure: Media organization executives must disclose their investments and business interests to the council. Additionally, publications are required to issue disclaimers when reporting on topics related to those investments.

Rationale

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Government officials cite a need to curb the spread of misinformation and promote journalistic integrity on social media. They argue that the lack of regulation has fostered an environment where commercial interests can dictate news content.

Expert Opinions

Mahendra Bista, an expert involved in drafting the bill, believes it will address the evolving information technology landscape. However, some experts like former Communications Minister Gokul Baskota caution that the bill must balance regulation with press freedom.

Potential Impact

If passed, this bill could have far-reaching implications for bloggers, content creators, and social media users in Nepal. While proponents argue it will improve media accountability, concerns about censorship and hindering free expression persist.

Ditible Staff

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