Egypt drafting legislation to regulate social media platforms

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 22 Jan 2023

Egypt's Supreme Council for Media Regulation is preparing legislation that would require social media platforms to obtain a license to access mobile users in the country, the head of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation Karam Gabr told the Senate on Sunday.

social media
A man uses mobile phone to access social media apps. AFP


"This new legislative and legal procedure aims to protect our children and citizens from the dangerous ideas which these platforms propagate," said Gabr.

Gabr's remark came in response to questions by members of the Egyptian Senate's Education Committee on Sunday. Many Senators have called for imposing controls on social media platforms, particularly Tiktok, over fears that they propagate violence, extremism and homosexuality.

"The ideas and thoughts these platforms convey, particularly TikTok, are very destructive to our society, our children and our citizens," said Senator Mohamed Emar, calling upon the government to ban TikTok in Egypt.

Gabr agreed that social media platforms and videogames are attracting greater sectors of society in Egypt.

"The number of citizens who are now using social media platforms in Egypt has reached 8 million," said Gabr, addind that "this has led the Supreme Council for Media Regulation to intervene to control the harmful use of social media platforms and videogames."

"The Council is currently drafting new legislation that will make it obligatory for any platform to get a prior legal license in order to have access to mobile phone users," said Gabr, indicating that "the objective of this legislation is to stand up to the destructive ideas which these platforms disseminate."

As for videogames, Gabr said these are like knives, having both harmful and useful uses. "Some games enhance intelligence, while others promote violence, extremism, homosexuality and these are the ones we have to confront to protect our children and citizens from its harmful impact," said Gabr.

The Supreme Council for Media Regulation was formed for the first time in April 2017. By virtue of the Constitution, the Supreme Council works to organize the affairs of audiovisual and digital media, as well as print and digital press. It is responsible for protecting society, the audience and press practice. 

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