Hold Facebook and Twitter Guilty of Spreading Hatred: Appeal to the Supreme Court

A petition has been filed with the Supreme Court of India asking for instructions on how to legislate to regulate social media and hold platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram directly responsible for spreading hate speech and fake news.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) called on the Supreme Court to order the central government to put in place a mechanism to automatically remove hate speech and fake news within a short period of time so that counterproduction of such hate speech or fake news can be minimized.

The petition filed earlier this week by attorney Vineet Jindal through attorney Raj Kishor Choudhary also asked for instructions to the center to establish laws for the prosecution of those involved in spreading hate and fake news via social media involved. She urged the government to appoint an investigator at a time who is registered for spreading hatred and false news.

“A registered account is enough to start a channel that provides a platform for uploading videos to social media like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. This means that anyone can post anything on social media without any restrictions or regulations the government, “said the plea.

The petitioner said the plea was brought after two tweets against the Hindu goddess and under derogatory terms.

The petition asserted that freedom of expression is understood in the broadest sense as the idea that everyone has the natural right to express themselves freely through the media and borders, without external interference such as censorship and without fear of reprisals such as Threats and prosecutions are required.

“Freedom of expression, however, is a complex right. This is because freedom of expression is not absolute and brings with it specific duties and responsibilities. Therefore, it may be subject to certain legal restrictions,” the plea read.

The plea added that the reach of social media was much greater than that of traditional media and that freedom of expression under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution was accompanied by reasonable restrictions that could be imposed under Article 19 (2).

The plea alleged that it would be beneficial for India to examine the regulatory standards put in place by various countries in order to establish guidelines that strike a balance between freedom of expression and the accountability of social media platforms.

“India has seen a lot of local violence in the past, but in today’s social media era, this aggression is not limited to just the regional or local population, the whole country is swept away. The fog of rumors, innuendos and hatreds act as igniters in a local clash that immediately spreads across India via social media, “the plea said.

It is said that social media played a harmful role in inciting community violence in India and it was time to review its abuse.

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