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SC notice to Twitter about PIL seeking laws to remove divisive content | India News


NEW DELHI: After Twitter was forced to suspend the handles classified as “objectionable” by the Union government, on Friday the Supreme Court sought the response of the social media platform to a PIL seeking direction from the government to frame a legal mechanism to eliminate communal castes and divisive content that circulates freely on the platform.
A bank of Chief Justice SA Bobde and justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian did not require much persuasion to consider the PIL presented by Vinit Goenka, a member of the governing council of the Center for Rail Information Systems at the Ministry of Railways. The bank issued notices to the Center and Twitter Communications Private Ltd, Mumbai.
Goenka referred to articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and said that they impose similar restrictions on freedom of expression provided for in article 19 (2) of the Indian Constitution, namely the protection of the reputation of others, national security and public order. , health and public morals. He said Germany in 2017 enacted the Network Enforcement Law to stop hate speech and advertisements with a separatist agenda, seditious material, communal, instigating and divisive messages, and decided to penalize any social media platform found circulating content. forbidden.
The petitioner said: “In the absence of a law in India to deal with hateful and offensive messages, platforms such as Twitter are knowingly promoting such messages. Fake news is the main cause of many riots, including the recent riots in Delhi. Political parties and candidates use fake social media accounts for self-promotion and image building and to tarnish the image of opponents, especially during elections. ”
“Terrorist groups such as ISIS, al-Qaida and the Indian mujahideen use Twitter and other social media platforms to circulate their hate speech undetected,” he said. He added that dummy handles were commonly used to circulate divisive and disruptive messages to the community. Making a direct attack on Twitter, the petitioner said: “The special police (intelligence) commissioner, Delhi, has issued a statement that more than 300 Twitter identifiers were generated from Pakistan from January 13 to 18 to organize the rally of tractors in order to interrupt the celebration of Republic Day. Respondent No. 4 (Twitter) has not even bothered to censor those handles that were the reason for creating disturbances. ”

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