Supreme Court Issues Notice To Twitter On BJP Leader’s Plea For Mechanism To Screen Anti-India Tweets, Hateful Ads

first_imgTop StoriesSupreme Court Issues Notice To Twitter On BJP Leader’s Plea For Mechanism To Screen Anti-India Tweets, Hateful Ads LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK11 Feb 2021 10:59 PMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) petition filed by BJP leader Vinit Goenka seeking a direction to the Central Government to devise a mechanism to check fake news and instigative messages being circulated via social media, especially Twitter.Advocate Ashwini Kumar Dubey, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that petition seeks a mechanism…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) petition filed by BJP leader Vinit Goenka  seeking a direction to the Central Government to devise a mechanism to check fake news and instigative messages being circulated via social media, especially Twitter.Advocate Ashwini Kumar Dubey, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that petition seeks a mechanism to screen hateful advertisements and anti-India content in Twitter.The plea also seeks directions to the Centre for a mechanism to ascertain advertisements and paid content that may have material which is hateful, inciting, or seditious.A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde issued notice on the petition and directed that the matter be tagged with similar pending petitions seeking social media regulation.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.”The said platform(Twitter) is being used to call upon separatist, creating panic in some sections of the society, challenging the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India”, the plea said.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.”Twitter and social media companies are profit making companies and expecting them to have safeguards for making social media safe and secure is important. The logic and algorithms that twitter use should be shared and vetted by Indian government authorities or competent authority for screening anti India tweets”, the plea filed in May 2020 said.Coming in the backdrop of the increased tensions between the Government of India and the social media giant over the past few days, the Supreme Court’s notice on the BJP leader’s plea is a significant development.The Union Ministry of Electronics, Information & Technology has expressed disappointment at the fact that Twitter has complied with the substantial parts of the orders to block accounts only “unwillingly, grudgingly and with great delay”.In a meeting held with Twitter officials two days back, the Secretary of the IT Ministry took up the issue of using a hashtag on ‘farmer genocide’ with Twitter executives and expressed strong displeasure on the way Twitter acted after an emergency order was issued to remove this hashtag and content related to that.”Twitter, as a business entity working in India, must also respect the Indian laws and democratic institutions”, the Ministry told the officials of the micro-blogging platform.Prior to the meeting, Twitter said in a blog post that it refused to comply with orders to block the accounts of politicians, news media entities and journalists as it would amount to infringement of freedom of speech. “Because we do not believe that the actions we have been directed to take are consistent with Indian law, and, in keeping with our principles of defending protected speech and freedom of expression, we have not taken any action on accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians. To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law”, Twitter said.The Centre did not appreciate this response of Twitter and termed its blog post “unusual”.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more