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Egypt passes legislation to block some social media accounts

/ 06:26 PM July 18, 2018

CAIRO — Egypt’s parliament has passed controversial legislation aimed at regulating popular social media accounts that publish “fake news.”

The bill, which gained parliament’s approval Monday, allows authorities to block a personal account on a social media outlet with more than 5,000 followers for publishing fake news. The bill must still be signed by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s to become law.

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Egypt under el-Sissi has regularly detained, jailed and prosecuted journalists.

If signed into law, Egypt’s media regulator, the Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media, would supervise popular accounts on social media networks, which would be treated as media outlets.

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Reporters Without Borders ranked Egypt as 161 out of 180 countries on its 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

El-Sissi led the military’s 2013 overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president. /ee

TOPICS: Egypt, fake news, Internet regulation, Social Media
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