Enlistment and Registration of Social Media Platform in Nepal

The Directives for Managing the Use of Social Media, 2023 (“Social Media Directives”), enacted on 27 November 2023 provides for the enlistment, management and regulation of the use of social media platform and its users in Nepal. 

1. Definition of Social Media

A media including a group, blog, app which provides facilities to any person, group or organization to communicate interactively with each other and to broadcast content created by users in accordance with the facilities and methods provided by the social media platform through electronic means of communication including computer, internet.

2. Enlistment of Social Media Platform

The person, company or organization willing to operate social media platform in Nepal must enlist such platform under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (“Ministry”). The social media platform already in operation must enlist the media within 27 February 2024 pursuant to the notice published by the Ministry on 1 December 2023.

If the social media platform is not enlisted within the prescribed time, the Ministry can ban the operation of such social media platform. However, this is not applicable to the social media platform operated with a sole focus on civic education and social empowerment.

     Applicable procedures

  • Submit the online/offline application in prescribed format along with the required documents in person or through a representative at the Ministry.
  • If the Social Media Management Unit, upon examination of the application, finds the details appropriate, the social media platform will be provided with a Memo of Enlistment.

      Required documents

  1. For the company/organization with head office in Nepal
  • Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association of company/ organization;
  • Registration certificate of company/organization;
  • PAN/VAT certificate of company/ organization;
  • Letter of renewal of company;
  • Certificate of latest tax clearance;
  • Company minutes related to decision of enlistment;
  • Details of shareholders record;
  • Details of foreign investors investing in shares, if any;
  • Details of Board of Directors of company/ organization;
  • Citizenship certificate for Nepali citizen and copy of passport for foreigner;
  • Privacy policy, data usage policy, information security policy;
  • Documents related to technical ability and professional competence;
  • Video KYC of authorized representative in case of online application;
  • Standards prescribed by social media in relation is its users;
  • Process of grievance handling mechanism in social networks; and
  • Other necessary details.
  1. For the company/organization with head office in other country
  • Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association of company/organization;
  • Registration certificate of company/ organization;
  • PAN/VAT certificate of company/ organization;
  • Certificate of latest tax clearance;
  • Details of Board of Directors of company/organization;
  • Copy of passport of authorized representative;
  • Video KYC of authorized representative in case of online application;
  • Privacy policy, data usage policy, information security policy;
  • Documents related to technical ability and professional competence;
  • Standards determined by social media in relation to its users;
  • Process of grievance handling-mechanism in such social media; and
  • Other necessary details.

Note: In case of online application, submit the application and required documents in the email: snru@mocit.gov.np. 

3. Prohibited Activities

The social media users are prohibited to undertake or cause to undertake the following activities:  

a) Create an anonymous or disguised identity (fake ID, pages, group);

b) Produce and share content or share other’s content or comment on other’s content or make calls anonymously or with disguised identity (fake ID, page, group);

c) Target any person, community, caste, sex, religion, age, color, class, profession, sect, marital status, family status, physical or mental condition, origin, sexual orientation, language and other groups or category of people protected by law to spread hatred, or share word, audio, visual, picture that harm social harmony and tolerance and to create, publish and broadcast trolls;

d) Encourage child labour, human trafficking, polygamy, child marriage, caste untouchability and other activities prohibited by prevailing laws;

e) Create offensive words, audio visuals, images, trolls with an intention to bully others and use hateful expressions, defamation, or acts that constitute hate speech;

f) Perversely modify the photograph of a person by animation, montage and other technology through the use of digital media and publish or broadcast such photograph;

g) Edit, publish and broadcast without permission, the photographs and videos of private matters other than those of a public nature;

h) Publish, broadcast or comment in support of obscene word, photograph, audio, video animation;

i) Encourage content that harms child and promotes prohibited activities including child sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, prostitution;

j) Publish or broadcast false information, misleading information, misinformation, disinformation; and

k) Commit act that constitutes cyber bullying.

4. Classification of Social Media Platform

Section 5 of the Social Media Directives classifies the social media platform on the basis of number of users as follows:

a) If users are less than 100,000 (one hundred thousand): Small Social Media Platform

b) If users are more than 100,000 (one hundred thousand): Large Social Media Platform 

5. Point of Contact

For the purpose of addressing grievances in relation to the use of social media, the operator of social media platform must arrange the Point of Contact in Nepal, either through the establishment of local office or through a designated contact person.

6. Social Media Management Unit

The Social Media Directives provide for the formation of Social Media Management Unit under the Ministry to handle grievances received by the social media platform operator or its Point of Contact regarding the issues not addressed by the social media platform or grievances received by the relevant agencies that were not addressed by the relevant authorities in accordance with the prevailing laws.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice, advertisement, personal communication, solicitation or inducement of any sort from the firm or its members. The firm shall not be liable for consequences arising out of actions undertaken by any person relying on the information provided herein. The copyright of the contents of this article is vested with Imperial Law Associates.

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