SC Issues Notice to Centre on Plea for Social Media Regulation Law

The plea once again draws attention towards the intermediary liability protection of social media platforms.

Published
Policy
2 min read
The Supreme Court on Monday, 1 February sought responses from the Centre and others on a plea seeking framing of a law to regulate social media platforms. Image used for representation.
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The Supreme Court on Monday, 1 February, sought responses from the Centre and others on a plea seeking framing of a law to regulate social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and make them responsible for allegedly spreading fake news and hate speeches, PTI reported.

The plea once again draws attention towards the intermediary liability protection of social media platforms. India’s intermediary liability regime flows from Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, a provision that exempts intermediaries from liability for third party content on their service, as long as certain conditions are fulfilled.

According to the PTI report, a bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notices to the Centre and others on the plea and tagged it with a pending petition, which has sought setting up of a media tribunal to adjudicate on complaints against the media, channels, and networks.

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Vineet Jindal who has sought directions to the Centre to frame a law to prosecute those involved in spreading hate and fake news through social media platforms.

The plea has sought directions to the authorities concerned for establishing a mechanism for automatic removal of fake news and hate speeches within a short time frame.

It said that freedom of speech and expression is a complex right, as it may be subject to reasonable restrictions and it is not absolute, and carries with it special duties and responsibilities.

The plea, while saying that reach of social media is much wider than traditional media, has also referred to few communal violence incidents in the country where social media was misused.

On January 25, the top court had sought responses from the Centre, Press Council of India (PCI) and News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on a separate public interest litigation (PIL), which has sought setting up of a media tribunal to adjudicate on complaints against media, channels, and networks.

(With inputs from PTI)

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