(This write-up is published in April 2013 issue of Samhita – a quarterly publication of Press Council Nepal.)
Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, during his speech to mark the Press Council of Nepal’s anniversary in September 2012, talked critically about social media and its content. He said:
“Social media have become very useful and effective for quick dissemination of news, quick feedback & quick response, but we are seeing indications that the content & language uploaded on social media are becoming challenge to society, social harmony, national unity, national integrity & individual’s privacy.”
The Prime Minister’s comments were not unfounded given that most of the politicians are criticized heavily on social media. He also proposed that the scope of the Press Council should be expanded to the Internet and that the quasi-governmental body should actively facilitate print, electronic and social media to ensure decency in content & language.
Earlier in February 2012, PM Bhattarai’s comments on social media during the program to launch ‘Beginning of Digital Signature’ were harsher and naturally it met with a lot of criticism.