Delhi High Court has issued notice in a plea seeking removal of fake news and hate speech on social media platforms through designated officers of various intermediaries.
The notice has been issued to the Union of India and others by the Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad.
Moved by KN Govindacharya, an application filed under section 151 of the Civil Procedure Code wants the court to issue directions to identify the designated officers of the various intermediaries as per the Information Technology Rules.
'The unwanted episodes like 'Bois Locker Room' and suicide of a Gurgaon resident reflects the failure of social media companies in performing their obligations. Moreover, these incidents are only the tip of the iceberg, which are causing a big shockwaves in the students, schools and society', the application states.
With the intention of protecting the interests of children on social media, the applicant has highlighted the unlawful nature of illegal groups, which are allegedly not removed by the social media platforms for their huge business profit.
The applicant has further submitted that such groups are illegal and also against the community standards and terms of agreements of social media companies, viz. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok etc.
The illegality of minors having accounts on social media, as per the applicant, cannot be disputed and the same needs to be enforced.
The application submits that:
'That the incident of 'Bois Locker Room' over Instagram shows one of the vilest forms of social media. It is submitted that presence of such accounts/groups/content on social media is not about boys or girls, but relates to the overall well-being of juveniles in general. That the presence of fake users is one of the core reasons behind such content. Social Media companies are direct beneficiaries of fake users, as it increases their advertisement benefits.'
The applicant has further informed the court that any process of removing the content from social media has to be through Designated Officer of intermediary (social media website), which are mandated as per Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009, Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring, and Decryption of Information) ·Rules, 2009 and Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguard for Monitoring and Collecting Traffic Data or Information) Rules, 2009.
Therefore, the applicant has asked the court to direct the Central Government to direct social media companies to remove illegal groups on their platforms for the safety and security of children in cyberspace.
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