Summary of the Directives to Regulate Social Media in Nepal | Directives to Regulate Social Media in Nepal | Exclusive Blog Post 2 Mins Read
December 6, 2023
On November 27, 2023, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Government of Nepal has enacted and published the “Directives relating to the Regulation for the Usage of Social Media, 2023” or the “Directives to Regulate Social Media in Nepal” with the intention to regulate the social media companies and its users and to promote the self-regulation of the platform operators and users of the social media.
The directives have been enacted by the Government in the aftermath of the ban imposed on TikTok. The study of the Directives helps to identify the intention of the Government of Nepal to impose a ban on TikTok and its frustration with the lack of existing legal and regulatory mechanisms to regulate social media platform and its users. This really helps to understand the ban imposed by the Government of Nepal on the usage of TikTok.
The highlight of the new directive includes immediately listing of the social media platforms with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (“Ministry”); establishment of Point of Contact (“POC”) by setting up an office and appointing a contact person in Nepal, for all the social media, restricted activities for the social media users; classification of social media platforms; grievance handling; responsibilities of social media operators and POC; formation of a “Social Media Management Unit”, among others.
The directive has stipulated a 3-months deadline for the existing social media platforms for the registration with the Ministry. Furthermore, the Ministry shall publish a notice outlining other requirements for the listing of new social media platforms. For the listing, the social media company must file an application through an authorized representative by submitting the following documents:
- Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, and Incorporation Certificate,
- Tax registration certificate,
- Details of Board of Directors,
- Recent tax clearance certificate,
- Copy of passport of the authorized representative,
- Technical and professional experience documents,
- Guidelines for Users,
- Grievance handling process,
- Other documents as required.
Classification of Social Media Platforms
Small Social Media Platform: Having less than 100,000 users.
Large Social Media Platform: Having more than 100,000 users.
Social media platforms must have a resident grievance handling officer and an officer for the monitoring of self-regulation at the Point of Contact. The operators of social media must have a permanent establishment in Nepal.
Key Responsibilities of Social Media Operators
- To develop algorithms to restrict information, advertisements, and publication or broadcasting of other materials that violates the existing laws of Nepal.
- To identify and remove contents from the platform within 24 hours of the receipt of such grievance.
- To remove contents from the platform within 24 hours if directed to do so by the Social Media Management Unit.
- To formulate or implement necessary guidelines to protect the personal data of the social media users and maintain data privacy.
- To manage and address the grievance and complaints that arises during the operation of platform.
- To examine the facts of the contents that are published or broadcasted in the platform.
- To implement the provisions of Santa Clara Principles developed internationally to regulate the usage of social media.
- To make necessary payments in relation with the social media platforms via banking channels.
Restrictions for the Social Media Users
The Directives have imposed various restrictions on the users of social media platforms. The users of social media platforms are restricted and legally prohibited to perform the following activities:
- To create fake user ID, page, and groups,
- To create or share or comment on third person’s contents by using fake user ID,
- To promote child marriage, child labor, human trafficking, polygamy, or caste-based untouchability,
- To transmit hate, or other hateful activities to disturb social respect by using words, audio, visual or making trolls of other person by targeting any specific group, gender, profession, community, age, religion, tribe, etc.
- To create or share hate speech with an intention to defame or demean other person by using pictures, audio, visual or troll etc,
- To do cyber bullying,
- To publish or broadcast fake news, information, or propaganda,
- To promote activities for child sexual abuse, pornographic content or sexual misbehavior or business,
- To publish, transmit or propagate vulgar words, pictures, audio, visual, animated contents,
- To publish private or personal photographs or videos without the consent from the concerned person,
- To publish or share photo of other person by altercation with the help of animation and montage.
Non-compliance of the Directives to Regulate Social Media in Nepal
The GoN might prohibit the usage of social media platform for the non-compliance or violations of the provisions of the Directives.
To gain more information on the legal provisions relating to the regulation of social media and digital contents in Nepal, please Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.