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ISLAMABAD: Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad and Bower Group Asia organised a webinar under the theme "Does One Size Fit All? - Regulating Content in the Digital Age - Industry Best Practices from Around the World."

Numerous media professionals and representatives from digital rights advocacy groups attended the event. They questioned whether a singular regulatory framework is an effective way of regulating the multitude of platforms of digital content on the internet in this day and age. Speaking at the event, BGA Senior Advisor Aniq Zafar said the question that needed to be explored was that given the numerous types of digital content on the internet today.

"Can we have a unified way of regulating all content, or rather we need to develop a more sophisticated and agile way of dealing with content?" he asked.

"Can we really treat User Generated Content (UGC) such as a Facebook or a TikTok post, in the same way we regulate Online Curated Content on video-on-demand services like Hulu and Amazon Prime?" he added.

Hamad Farouk from Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) said while PTA has developed the technical capability to block unsecure websites, the authority does not have the capability to block particular links or single piece of multimedia content on these pages.

Khair-ur-Rehman from Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) said that a consultation draft on regulating web television was presented and after concerns expressed about freedom of expression in the standing committee on human rights, it was put on hold, until a consensus can be reached with the relevant stakeholders.

Sadaf Khan, co-founder of Media Matters for Democracy, said, there was a lack of understanding in the draft laws on how industries differ from individuals. Celeste Campbell-Pitt from Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) said AVIA has prepared a regulatory draft that sees safety as the most important component.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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