New authorities guidelines could require YouTubers, Fb pages to get licenses to function

Pakistan has banned social media about eight times in the course of its history, has a long and dark history of containment on various forms of media, and “continues to impose arbitrary legal and regulatory restrictions on language and online content by imposing bans and suspensions”. , and warnings against social media applications, “according to reports. However, it now plans to introduce new rules for digital media that could be more draconian than any previous attempts to silence or restrict freedom of expression on social media.

The government has proposed the creation of the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA), which will be solely responsible for regulating print, broadcast and digital media.

“This will be a new legal body to regulate film, electronic, print and digital media in Pakistan in the age of metadata, digital and social media as well as internet-based content and advertising,” said a government proposal.

The PMDA will be empowered to register, monitor and analyze digital media platforms, as well as review the revenue generated by online advertising.

“Undocumented and unregulated” online advertising means there is potential for “revenue and tax evasion”, the proposal highlighted. The agency will issue guidelines for internet-based advertising and the revenue generated from it.

In addition, a license must be obtained from the PMDA to set up a digital media platform, be it a YouTube news / vlog channel, a Facebook news page, or a website with future news when the agency is set up, government control over it to take digital media to a new level.

Renowned journalist Muhammad Malick lamented on his talk show: “What does it take for me as an ordinary man or journalist to get a license from the government to start a vlog. A license would mean that it is also extended, for which my overall behavior is checked and I only get the license again if I was a good boy. “

Tell me one thing, I have to keep my vlog going. Am I an anchor or an ordinary man? Why should I get government permission first? BPTWithMalick @MallickViews #PMImranKhan @PTIofficial #PMDA #socialmedia @pmln_org ajSajjadBhatti #PTIGovernment @humnewspakistan pic.twitter.com/q5EMGhycFr

– Breaking Point with Malick (@BPTWithMalick) June 5, 2021

The proposal to set up a media regulator was largely rejected by journalists, activists and the opposition, calling it an “unconstitutional and draconian law”.

PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb described the PMDA as a “repressive and punitive instrument for the suppression of the constitutional freedom of expression of print media, electronic media and online citizen journalism”.

1 / 2Pakistan Media Development Authority Ordinance is a #draconic # authoritarian, repressive and punitive instrument to suppress the constitutional freedom of expression of print media, electronic media and online citizen journalism.

– Marriyum Aurangzeb (@Marriyum_A) May 31, 2021

PPP Senator Sherry Rehman called the proposed PMDA regulation “media warfare law”.

The government will not be required to provide warnings or justifications for crackdowns. The law can even extend control to digital platforms. This is a plan to institutionalize censorship. The media either become state mouthpieces or go under. #notogaglaws #notoPMDA

– SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) May 31, 2021

Digital rights advocate Nighat Dad also defied the proposed authority on a talk show.

What harms the common man if he becomes the proposed medium? Listen to Nighat Dad’s answer at جواب BPTWithMalick @ MalickViews #PMImranKhan @PTIofficial #PMDA #socialmedia @pmln_org

– Breaking Point with Malick (@BPTWithMalick) June 5, 2021

Continue reading: Prime Minister Imran Khan sets up a panel to review controversial social media rules.

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