KATHMANDU: The government has initiated phase-wise consultations on legitimately regulating and managing social networking sites based on the requests and suggestions that have come from the citizen level.
The government has started seeking suggestions through consultations following the demand made by distinguished persons from various walks of life for regulation and management of social sites citing they have suffered irreparable damages due to the baseless, malicious, and slanderous comments against them that appear on social media.
In this connection, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT) has started consultations with experts on social sites and electronic media. The Ministry is preparing for a discussion with the representative of the Meta Company overseeing South Asia on August 10. Meta Company is the mother organization of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Whatsapp. It is also holding consultations with social site operators in Nepal as well.
Press Council Nepal is also holding discussions on this topic. The use and misuse of social networking sites are on the rise along with the expansion of information and communication technology. In this scenario, regulating fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech has emerged as a challenge.
Although the Press Council Nepal has the responsibility of monitoring the media at present, no agency has been legally assigned with the responsibility of monitoring individuals’ posts on social sites.
Political parties’ leaders, civil servants, artists, civil society leaders, professors, teachers, businesspersons, social rights campaigners and media persons, and people from various walks of life have been requesting for bringing legislation for regulating and managing social sites.
MoCIT spokesperson and joint secretary Netra Raj Subedi said the Ministry has started consultations with the stakeholders based on the requests coming from various sectors calling for regulating and managing the social sites.