picture credit: greencrest.com
A petition has been filed in the Top court seeking directions from the Center to regulate Social media houses by framing penal laws for the prosecution of the persons indulging in activities like spreading hate and fake news on such platforms. The Plea by Advocate Vineet Jindal was filed through Advocate-on-Record Raj Kishor Choudhary with the UOI, Ministry of home affairs, The Ministry of telecommunication, Twitter communications India Pvt. Ltd and Facebook India as the respondents.
The petition mainly focuses on the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and how it goes in sync with reasonable restrictions that may be imposed under Article 19(2). It states that most communal clashes in India are triggered by social media posts and cites a range of examples of such posts which have allegedly set off clashes. Starting with the North-east Delhi riots to the 2014 clashes in Pune which happened due to certain derogatory posts about Hindu kings etc.
Through this plea, the petitioner prays for social media houses to be held directly responsible for spreading hate speeches and adds that a direction may be given to appoint an expert investigating officer in every case registered for spreading any unpleasant and spiteful news through social media sites. He has also urged the Apex Court to direct the Central Government and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter to develop an auto removal mechanism for hate speech and fake news.