Ruel Reid Minister

Information Minister Changes Tune on Social Media Regulation

Information Minister, Ruel Reid, is walking back his suggestion that the government is considering regulating social media.

He now says the government prefers ‘self-regulation’ instead.

Speaking yesterday on Cliff Hughes Online, Minister Reid said he believes that’s what the government will have to ‘advocate’.

The Information Minister made statements in the Senate last Friday, suggesting the government was considering more regulation for both traditional and social media.

The Press Association of Jamaica, PAJ, wrote him on Monday, outlining its concerns about press freedom, and general freedom of expression, in light of his comments.

He’d expressed concern that mainstream media were expanding into social media with ‘no clear regulatory guidelines’.

In a post on Twitter Monday afternoon, he declared that there’ll be no “regulations for social media unless the PAJ and Opposition agree.”

He added “we believe in press freedom”. He said there should be “no fear”.

Meanwhile, when asked yesterday if he intends to expand the powers of the Broadcasting Commission, Minister Reid was evasive.

Senator Reid says the government will try to use ‘moral suasion’ to have people regulate their behavior on social media instead of promulgating specific guidelines.

Meanwhile, Minister Reid and the Broadcasting Commission are expected to host a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister this morning to explain and clarify their position on the matter.

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