Ex­plor­ing democ­racy: reg­u­lat­ing on­line me­dia

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

With the de­vel­op­ment of a coun­try, the so­cial me­dia like face­book, twit­ter, and many oth­ers were get­ting pop­u­lar­ity in Bhutan. Th­ese fo­rums pro­vide plat­form for the shar­ing of di­verse views, opin­ions, in­creas­ing the defam­a­tory re­marks on­line and the shar­ing of pornog­ra­phy.

While so­cial me­dia pro­vides that space for di­verse views, it has also re­sulted in a grow­ing pres­ence of in­tol­er­ant speech glob­ally. Bhutan’s so­cial me­dia space is char­ac­ter­ized by anony­mous post­ing and ev­i­dence shows that we are still learn­ing to steep that di­ver­sity of views was that tenet of free of speech on­line.

The ex­plor­ing democ­racy: reg­u­lat­ing on­line me­dia re­cent de­vel­op­ment dis­cus­sion was held in the cap­i­tal last Wed­nes­day which was or­ga­nized by Bhutan cen­tre for me­dia and democ­racy (BCMD).

The dis­cus­sion was led by the Sec­re­tary of Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Dasho Kin­ley Dorji, two Sin­ga­pore lawyers, Tan Hui Ts­ing and Den­nis Tand and one pro­fes­sor Em­manuel C Lal­lana from Philip­pines.

The Sec­re­tary said, given the pro­lif­er­a­tion of so­cial me­dia in Bhutan, used by a grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple, the min­istry is cur­rently draft­ing a so­cial me­dia pol­icy as part of the na­tional me­dia pol­icy. It will draft guide­lines for the use of so­cial me­dia by the gov­ern­ment, busi­nesses and the peo­ple.

The Sec­re­tary fur­ther added that, cur­rently the use of so­cial me­dia, in some of the gov­ern­ment of­fices are banned dur­ing the work­ing hour, for in­stance the us­age of face­book and the twit­ter. The essence of so­cial me­dia pol­icy is a guide­line to the peo­ple.

Tan Hui Ts­ing and Den­nis Tan shared about the Sin­ga­pore gov­ern­ment’s rule and reg­u­la­tion about the so­cial me­dia.

Pro­fes­sor Em­manuel C Lal­lana from Philip­ines said that how the so­cial me­dia is very pow­er­ful and the how it is very dan­ger­ous. He said the pol­icy for so­cial me­dia is very im­por­tant and the role of the gov­ern­ment to ed­u­cate the peo­ple is very im­por­tant about the us­age of the so­cial me­dia.

He also said that the rule for both off­line and for on­line should be the same

Mean­while, the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is work­ing on so­cial me­dia pol­icy and up­dat­ing the Bhutan In­fo­Comm and Me­dia Au­thor­ity (BICMA), said the Sec­re­tary.

While, some of the par­tic­i­pants who uses the so­cial me­dia said that so­cial me­dia is very use­ful as it helps to dis­sem­i­nate the in­for­ma­tion since some of the jour­nal­ist who had missed out some im­por­tant point, there­fore, it helps us to share our in­for­ma­tion.

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