SC issued notice on plea for mechanism to regulate hate content

SC sends notice to Government, Twitter to check spread of fake news

The Supreme Court on Friday sought responses from the Centre and Twitter India on a plea seeking a mechanism for regulating content and advertisements spreading hatred through fake news and instigative messages via bogus accounts. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notice to the Centre and Twitter Communication India Pvt Ltd on the plea filed by one Vinit Goenka, which said there are hundreds of fake Twitter handles and bogus Facebook accounts in the name of eminent people and high dignitaries.

Advocate Ashwini Dubey, appearing for Goenka, said directions are needed for establishing a mechanism to regulate hateful content on the social networking site. The bench said that it is issuing notice in the matter and tagging the plea with other pending matters. The plea filed through Dubey said, these fake Twitter handles and Facebook accounts use real photo of constitutional authorities and eminent citizens. Therefore, common man relies upon the messages published from these Twitter handles and Facebook accounts. The plea states that in the absence of a mechanism or a law to check online content, social media platforms such as Twitter and others have been used by some persons to “amplify and call out” for activities that are against the spirit of the Union of India.

It is alleged that Twitter “knowingly promotes” messages which are against the law of the land and therefore it is contended that the logic and algorithms used by the company should be vetted by the Indian Government or any other competent authority, for screening anti-India tweets.