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Efforts underway to regulate social media: MoCI

“Regulating social media doesn’t mean restraining people to share ideas, activities and express views, but the move is aimed at preventing misuse in terms of insulting people and breach of privacy,” Mustafawi said.

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Observing social media week on Sunday, the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoCI) said that efforts are underway to regulate social media networks in the country in order to prevent misuse.

The Deputy Minister of MoIC, Sayeda Muzhgan Mustafawi, said that by regulating social media, they are intended to open a new chapter in the use of social media in Afghanistan.

Speaking at an event organized by the Nai-Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan, she said that regulating social media doesn’t mean restricting people to share ideas, activities and express views, but the move is aimed at preventing misuse in terms of insulting people and breach of privacy.

She said that people now use social media against lawbreakers and criminals. She expressed concerns that some people use social media as a tool to defame others and breach their privacy. Thus, she stressed that social media needs to be regulated.

“Some social media users are breach others’ privacy, defame people, upload videos and pictures of violence, which leaves negative impacts on the society,” Mustafawi added. She called on people to support the ministry in regulating social media.

Head of Nai, Mujeeb Khelwatgar, said that social media websites has 1.3 million users in Afghanistan. He praised the role of social media in economic growth of a society and raising public awareness regarding different social and political issues.

“People in Afghan now use social media to seek justice for victims of violence. For example, social media played an important role in seeking justice for Farkhunda, the victim of mob killing in Kabul,” he added.

The social media week was observed under the slogan of ‘difference in opinion doesn’t mean enmity’ to call on people respect each others’ opinion and promote harmony among people.

“Everyone has the right to express their opinion in social media websites, without insulting others,” Khelwatgar said. He complained about low speed and high price of internet. He urged the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology (MoTIT) to take necessary steps to improve speed of internet and decrease its prices.

Head of Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) of the MoTIT, Khair Mohammad Faizi, said that the ministry will spare no efforts to improve internet speed and decrease its prices.

He said that efforts are underway to pave the ground of operation of 4G and 5G in the country.

A Number of people welcomed decision of MoCI to regulate social media, but questioned the ability of the ministry to do so. Mahmood, 23, a student of Kabul University said that most of the traditional media outlets like TV, Radio channels do not follow the rules and regulations in Afghanistan; thus, it is almost impossible for the MoCI to regulate social media.

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