Cabinet passes rules to regulate social mediaRequires social media platforms to register with the government and set up offices in Nepal. Issues 19-point not-to-do list.
Social media platforms operating in Nepal will now be required to set up their offices in the country.
The ‘Directives on the Operation of Social Networking 2023’, passed by the Cabinet on Thursday, makes it mandatory for social media sites such as Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and YouTube, among others, to open their liaison offices in Nepal.
The government said the measure was introduced in light of an increasing number of people complaining that the absence of the companies’ representatives in Nepal made it difficult for the authorities to address their users’ concerns and even to remove objectionable content from the platforms.
The companies will have to establish either an office or appoint a focal person in Nepal within three months of the enforcement of the directives. Likewise, the companies have to register their social media platforms with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. The ministry can shut down the platforms that are not registered in Nepal.
The directives include a 19-point not-to-do list for the users of platforms like Facebook, X, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.
The directives say no one should create fake IDs on social media, share or make comments through such IDs. Likewise, people should not post any text, audio, video or picture that spreads hatred against any gender, community, caste, religion, profession, or people from any particular group.
The new rule also bars any post promoting wrong activities such as child labour, human trafficking, child marriage or polygamy.
The directives ban the use of words, audio, video or images that spread hate speech and disrespect or defame others. Also banned are actions like distorting a picture, taking photos of private affairs and publishing them without permission.
Similarly, posting vulgar words, pictures, videos, audios, animations, contents promoting paedophilia, sexual exploitation, prostitution, use and trade of narcotic substances, gambling, spreading fake news, distorted information, cyber bullying and terrorism-related contents are prohibited.