The supreme court on Thursday voiced its displeasure with the spread of fake news on social media platforms and web portals.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind filed a petition asking the Centre to stop the diffusion of "fake news" that links the spread of Covid-19 to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering at the Markaz Nizamuddin, and take action against those responsible for it, before a bench led by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana.
The bench made a note of “web portals are not governed by anything. There is an attempt to give communal colour to news and that is the problem. It ultimately brings a bad name to the country.”
Aside from this, the Chief Justice stated that social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube don't respond to judges and write against institutions with no accountability. Only “powerful voices” get their attention, CJI added.
“Fake news and slander are uncontrollable on web portals and YouTube channels. “If you go to YouTube, you will see how easily fake news is spread, and anyone can start a channel on YouTube,” the bench remarked.
Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General, responded that the new Information Technology Rules, 2021 seek to “take care of this.” He asked the court to list the transfer petition before the Supreme Court in the matter of IT Rules. “Different High Courts are passing different orders. Your Lordship can have a holistic picture, as it is an all-India issue,” the Solicitor General stated.
According to the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs can now amend their claims that the media should be held accountable for communalizing the Nizamuddin Markaz issue.