DPT files complaint with ECB against ‘anonymous users’ on social media

The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) has filed an official written compliant with the Media Arbitrator, Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) against anonymous users on social media on charges of being attacked online and criticized.

The letter says, “These users are resorting to character assassination, defamation, personal attacks with the use of unimaginable language.”

The letter sent on May 7, 2013 by the DPT Secretary General Thinley Jamtsho is a reminder to an earlier complaint letter sent by the party on April 16, 2013.

It says that since the first letter, the frequency and number of posts on the social media have increased.

It says, “Please be reminded that the damage on democracy and a small society like Bhutan is irreparable.”

“The emotional damage it does to family members and the society at large should serve as an alarm at the kind of means these people are willing to go to win votes,” says the letter.

Crying foul, the letter also says, “If your office has been monitoring these users you would have reached a conclusion that their posts are always against DPT. It is safe to assume that these users are highly political and under the guise of anonymity they only attack DPT.”

The letter also quotes ECB Social Media Rules and Regulations 2012. It says that the rules clearly spell out that, “No individuals shall communicate, transmit hate messages or any content with intent to defame or reduce the electoral chances of opposing contestants or political parties and that conversations via social media shall not resort to personal attacks, unsupported accusations, defamation or threats of any kind.”

The letter from DPT asks the ECB to swiftly deliberate on these issues before a trend is set.

Copies of the letter have also been sent to the Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA) and the Ministry of Information and Communications.

ECB Media Arbitrator and Director of Immigration Thinley Wangchuk said, “We did not receive the April 16 letter, but we have officially written back to the DPT General Secretary in response to his recent letter. We have told him that our office has issued election period guidelines for the media and social media, and that he can file his complaint against the individuals as per section 12.1.”

The Media Arbitrator, however, said that his office did not have the technical capacity and resources to go after anonymous people on social media.

He said that complaint would have to be filed against a real person who can be held accountable if he or she has broken the rules.

An ECB official said that the DPT Secretary General will also have to file his complaint in an official format by naming the particular individual as culprit.

The Media Arbitrator said major decisions like blocking the social media sites, among others is taken by the ECB.

Earlier, based on a court complaint, the anonymous site Bhutanomics was blocked in Bhutan. A legal expert said going by the precedence set in past cases, if DPT takes the issue to court then they can get social media sites like Facebook and Twitter blocked in Bhutan.

Earlier in a stakeholders meeting in ECB to discuss the social media rules, some participants including practicing journalists had requested the ECB to liberally interpret the rules to prevent political parties from subverting criticism against them by using these rules.

The General Manager, Druk Net who was at the same meeting informed the stakeholders that Bhutan did not have the technical capacity and resources to track down anonymous people on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter hosted from outside the country.

The Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi said that the Office of the Media Arbitrator will receive such complaints, and have to give appropriate responses.

DPT had also filed a complaint against the Anti-Corruption Commission’s awareness videos, asking voters and political candidates to not to engage in electoral corruption, or vote for corrupt candidates. The ECB which did not find anything wrong with the content, but has anyhow stopped it from being telecast, on technical grounds as the election period had started.

DPT has also filed a complaint with the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) on a comedy series due to some scene, which was said to be mocking the party.

The DPT Secretary General affirmed that he had sent a complaint letter on the Social Media issue but directed the reporter to a DPT Social Media observer for further comments. The Social Media focal person of DPT was unable to reply to the emailed questions of the paper due to her busy schedule.

Tenzing Lamsang / Thimphu

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27 comments

  1. OMG this party seems to be full of complaints. They should have righteously filled a complaint against commonman in Bhutantimes.com in 2008. 

    ECB should object to party paying tshogpas colossal voting buying salaries especially those receiving such salaries for short duration pre election period.

  2. Why not political parties come out in social media ,newspapers and TV and defend the allegations and clarify the facts to the people of Bhutan, if allegations are not true.
    To stop social media and criticism by the Govt. is against the freedom of expression in democracy, that is also at the time of election.

  3. where there’s smoke, there’s fire
    why grievance

  4. Sangay Kuenden Dukpa

    Every organization and institution are DPT’s enemy…That shows DPT has done good job for past 5 years.

    If no one is to raise issue concerning the nation, what is the use of democracy. I consider this is what check and balance is…

  5. Who is this legal expert, wai?

  6. Mani Kumar Thapa

    If DPT is against ACC’s TV promption to discourage voters from voting for corrupt people, it clearly means one thing – GUILTY CONSCIENCE and corrupt candidates.

  7. During the 2008 elections, it was DPT that was very very IT savy and it is said, they created the Common Man to bring down their opponent. I don’t believe that the present political parties have created any such team. If it is happening, I guess its because the ruling Party has called it upon themselves. This time, I believe it is the society at large that is doing it, and for the right reasons.So, whats good for the goose ought to be good for the gander too, and they should not complain. People who live in glass houses ought not throw stones.

  8. This JYT is a pain . I think we really have to vote out DPT.

    • But my vote is reserved for JYT… he can never be oust from Nanong-shumar constituency…. he is a man of honor and we the people of his constituency are his hard-core supporter…. sorry for the bad news…..

  9. i know they are fully corrupted. They gave money to people also. During that boxing competition in thimphu. some got Nu.2000

  10. Come on guys, don’t blame to DPT. DPT is one of the favourites for all the people in bhutan for his successful completion of 5 years in building nation despite so many hardships underwent. Really Party has done so many good things for our country but really disheartening to see people complaining by following thebhutanese news particularly targeting DPT. Even a tiny insect can know what kind of role thebhutanese is playing currently in peaceful country Bhutan. Why always after PM and deputy ministers and MPs. What thebhutanese will gain by doing this? Please Please please do some justice to the nation as newspaper for common people not selective. For how long this paper will work in this way. By looking at the nature of news reported and reporting currently it seems this paper will work until some new government takes over ruling the country. But the fact here is have to wait till 2018. 

  11. What is happening in this GNH country. Lots of chaos are flourishing now and then.

  12. If I remember correctly DPT once said that it would not entertain grievances written anonymously in social media. Then why DPT gets upset with criticism in social media which are anonymous too. ACC’s task is to prevent corruption and it is normal for ACC to say not to vote for corrupt candidates. DPT is upset because it knows it is a corrupted party. During the Gyalpozhing land scam case JYT made the Office of AG impotent, undermined rule of law and went to the extent of saying that JT and MD did not break the laws. DPT has misused its power to protect corrupt party officials. The damage done by corruption on democracy and small country like Bhutan is irreparable. People are angry with DPT and they are expressing their anger now in social media and will soon express it in ballot box.

  13. ANYTHING ON UNDER THE SUN IS FINE BUT NOT DPT!!!!!!

  14. All I can say is beware what you wish for you may get it. By then it will be too late to go back. Only then will we people swayed by dirty politics understand the implications of what is amiss in democracy in Bhutan. I hope and pray that we don’t send this country to the dogs the way we are going about this. An incompetent ECB, a viral social media, a viral media firm swayed more by rich urban dwellers than a majority poor rural population.

  15. Actually, I am also wondering why DPT is worried about these two bit anti DPT posters here, the more they carry on with their tirade against the DPT, the more people will vote for DPT. 

    And then, after July 2013, they will be crying all over again.

  16. I may be wrong, but heard from credible source that former NC Chair Namgay Penjor and Dr. Sonam Wangyel are busy hosting dinners and party by ferrying people to Punakha from villages! Such a Cheap strategy if it is true!

  17. my god DPT does not want anything now, they jsut want to bullshit common people and do all riggings and win ! oh thats pity boy, Pen state University graduate , can’t handle media critisim, since you have not deleivered anything. Look at you answer, all vague and no clearcut policies, You will be made Third in preliminary…dont worry….

  18. Bhutanese people knows this time whom to vote. I dont think Bhutanese people will make mistake.

    • I think you are spot on, even in 2008 they knew who to vote for, so nothing will change in 2013. As for the other pretenders, they will have to wait for 2018.

  19. DPT has no capacity/ patience to take in negative criticism and turn it into positive energy.   If the the comment made by the particular user are false, why dont  DPT clear their stand in social media. so people can read justification from both side and make a judgement based on facts.
    They(DPT) might be scared thinking that the comments/ post of the user are true and they are going to ECB.
    Same with anticorruption video.   They DPT have a guilty mind since they are corrupted…otherwise what is wrong with the ACC video…i found it perfectely alright and most of the Bhutanese citizen will…..

    • ACC’s mandate is to curb wrong doings and not advertise on behalf of ECB. In fact the ad is sort of encouragement for corruption. Our boys and girls are watching Korean Movies and see the impact on them hair stye, dressing habit, in fact they wear all provocative dresses! Burglers have copied all tactics from Hindi movies.

    • hi ttdorji,
      Are u PDP? Think so. Just wait expirary date is nearing. Hope you will vanish from this forum as well. If PDP wins, who is going to head the party? It is not joke to trust a person who has not administred even a dzongkhag in his history. We want a person who can lead Bhutan not only within Bhutan but to the outside world. We should judge the person with enough experiences of doing this in the first case and secondly those have at least represented Bhutan in the outside world in the past days and thirdly who have experience of serving our country in various post and capacities.

      Judge this and vote.

  20. complains against the media. complains against constitutional bodies. and they said people complained of INR issue which is the real issue.

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