Plea filed before Supreme Court: Ensure Social Media Platforms Spreading Hate Speeches must be Held ResponsibleA petition was filed before the Supreme Court, which pointed out that communal violence in present times have been spread through social media, these aggressions are not just restricted to the regional or the local population, the entire country experiences this. Due to...
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Plea filed before Supreme Court: Ensure Social Media Platforms Spreading Hate Speeches must be Held Responsible
A petition was filed before the Supreme Court, which pointed out that communal violence in present times have been spread through social media, these aggressions are not just restricted to the regional or the local population, the entire country experiences this. Due to increasing clashes in country, prompt by social media posts the plea prayed for social media houses to be held directly responsible for spreading hate speeches.
The current petition has been filed by two advocates, namely Advocate Vineet Jindal and Advocate on record Raj Kishor Choudhary, stated that most of the communal clashes in the country are generated through various social media platforms.
It argued that "Social networking sites are a threat to national protection as they are used as instruments for drug trafficking, money laundering and match-fixing, terrorism, and instigating violence and for rumor tools etc.
The plea included social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram to be held "directly responsible" for reportedly spreading hate speeches and fake agenda.
The main contention in the plea that there should be a separate law be made which will regulate and deal with matters pertaining to criminal prosecution of those social media platforms which are identified in spreading fake news and promotes hate speeches. Twitter India and Facebook India have been especially arrayed as respondents in the plea.
Further the plea stated that social media have been playing a harmful role in inciting communal violence in India and time has come to check its misuse and seek accountability from them for their alleged actions.
The petitioner has also argued that the Apex Court should direct the Central Government and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter to develop an auto removal feature for filtering out any kind of posts which are found to be spreading hate speech and fake news.
The plea enlisted out range of social media posts which were found to be triggering in communal clashes. To quote a few, North-East Delhi riots to the 2014 clashes in Pune which happened because of certain derogatory remarks mentioned in various posts with respect to Hindu Kings etc.
It must be noted that the petition mainly focuses on the fundamental right guaranteed, freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and how it goes hand-in-hand stipulated by the reasonable expressions that may be imposed under Article 19(2).
"It would be beneficial for India to look at the regulation standards implemented by different countries in order to introduce guidelines which form a balance between freedom of speech and accountability of social media platforms," states the plea.
The petition states that a country like India is a "communal tinderbox" and that by the time action is taken against any inflammatory posts, the damage has already spread like wild fire. The plea reads, as follows
"In a country like India, which is perpetually on a communal tinderbox, where religious sentiments run deep, where respect for certain public and historical figures always come accompanied with veneration for their demi-god status, it doesn't take much for malice to be coated with a toxic communal hue."
The petitioner went ahead to state that "Social media has been playing a harmful role in inciting communal violence in India and time has come to check its misuse. Social networking sites are a threat to national protection as they are used as instruments for drug trafficking, money laundering and match–fixing, terrorism, and instigating violence and for rumour tools etc."
Among other prayers, the petitioner added that a direction may be given to appoint an expert investigating officer in every case registered for spreading hate or fake news through social media platforms.