Regulation and Freedom

We will regulate social media without affecting freedom of expression: Parbat Gurung

KATHMANDU: Minister for Communications and Information Technology Parbat Gurung has said that a directive is being brought to regulate social media without affecting the freedom of press and freedom of speech.

Speaking to Dolakhali  reporters interaction organized by the ministry today, he said, “The directive is about to be brought as various types of criminal activities are increasing on social media on a daily basis.”

“We are only preparing to bring a guideline to manage social media. We will finalize it only after discussing with the stakeholders,” said Minister Gurung.

He also expressed his commitment to work for the dignity of journalism. “There is no directive to restrict freedom of the press and freedom of speech,” 

Minister Gurung clarified that discussions are underway on the directive to regulate social networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Viber, Emo, WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, WeChat, TikTok and other social networks in order to reduce unpleasant incidents such as violence and crime.

Gurung also informed that a policy decision has been taken to start the campaign from Dolakha on Saturday as per the decision of the cabinet meeting held on Thursday with the objective of making the country a smart city in terms of information technology.

Balaram Thapa, a member of the Advertising Board, said that the proportional advertising system was a new concept started from the point of view of the welfare state and if it could be implemented, it would be a good thing in the history of Nepal.

Dilip Thapa Magar, vice-president of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), said that it was a good thing to end the compulsion to come to Kathmandu from different districts to renew the pass of the Information Department.

Ajay Babu Shiwakoti, general secretary of the Press Union Nepal, said that many journalists had lost their jobs due to the risk of COVID-19 and suggested that the government should come up with a clear policy to support the self-employed media.

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