The Supreme Court asked the Centre on Friday to work out a mechanism to block videos of rapes from being uploaded on social networking and communication platforms such as Facebook and Whatsapp.
Issuing a notice to the Union ministry of information and technology, the bench of Justices MB Lokur and UU Lalit specified that they were not looking at blocking the applications but for them to ensure that the clips do not get circulated.
The order came on an application filed by Sunita Krishnan, founder of NGO Prajwala, who brought to notice a clip of a teenager’s gangrape in Mumbai that emerged last week.
Krishnan said similar incidents had occurred in the past as well and services such as Facebook and Whatsapp should devise ways to automatically block such content.
Video clippings of rapes are often used by perpetrators to threaten victims into being silent, apart from making them relive the trauma by spreading the recording of the crime. Many rapes, the petitioner said, were committed with the sole motive of uploading such videos by criminal gangs.
On August 28, the bench had directed the Union government to crack down on rape videos uploaded on social networking sites and consider setting up a helpline to enable people to lodge complaints in such instances. Krishnan had told the court that she was in possession of more than 90 such videos.
She told the court that such videos were still available on social media.