Photo: Stock Catalog
Photo: Stock Catalog

And then they came for my Instagram filter

Nepal’s proposed regulations on social media have troubling implications for journalism and free speech.

As Nepal's legislature deliberates on a series of bills following the implementation of a new Constitution in 2015, a newly proposed bill on regulating the use of the internet has drawn criticism from around the country. The wide-ranging draft bill has provisions for everything from digital signatures and encryption to regulating internet-service providers. It also seeks to control the use of social media – a move that many see as a tool of online censorship.

Part of the problem with the bill proposed by the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) government are the vague restrictions on free speech, similar to those in other countries in the region. For example, the draft criminalises 'improper' content which 'create' hatred, anger or discord between different communities – religious, ethnic or class-based – or provinces. According to the proposal, those posting offending content on social media will be fined up to NPR 1.5 million (USD 13,200) and/or face up to five years in prison.

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian