Egypt’s New Law to Regulate Social Media Accounts with Large Following as News Outlets

Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (AFP Photo)

A new law in Egypt has been passed and will see social media users with a sizable following regulated, with likely prosecution if they post falsehoods. The law treats individual accounts by the same standard with news outlets.

Government will have the powers to penalize traditional media like television and newspapers for spreading what the government terms fake news.

But in addition to that social media accounts and blogs with more than 5,000 followers will be subjected to the same scrutiny and punishment as media outlets in case they post information considered as untrue. It also stipulates guidelines for journalists.

Under the provisions of the new law, a Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media will have the mandate to enforce the guidelines. This Council will be headed by an individual that is appointed by Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

It is this same Council that will issue licenses to anybody seeking to open a website and also suspend/block existing websites.

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