Governments around the world have been grappling with the problem of handling social media, which has been a relatively new development in a country’s history. It has allowed people to communicate more efficiently while people from other countries watch and interact and governments have been working hard to take control of this.
Back in July, it was reported that Egypt’s parliament had approved a law to regulate social media. Well now it is reported that the President has ratified it.
According to ChannelsTv, Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ratified a law granting authorities the right to monitor social media users.
The Supreme Council for Media Regulations will have power to supervise people with more than 5000 followers on social media or personal blog thanks to this new law. They will also have power to suspend or block accounts that publish or broadcast fake news that incite violation of the law, violence or hatred.
Apparently rights group say that this law is one of the measures that are aimed at curbing freedom of expression online, which has been a continued trope with other rights groups commenting over similar policies on social media monitoring.
There is also another piece of legislation that was signed off in August that allows authorities to block websites that ‘constitute a threat’ to Egypt’s national security through a judge. Such perpetrators face jail time and fines.
Egypt will now join the ever increasing roster of African countries, especially in our region, have some sort of law that governs social media use. Uganda charges people a social media tax and apparently want to charge bloggers a yearly fee and Tanzania already is charging bloggers for licences to operate their online businesses.