With notices been issued, responses have to be filed to the petition by Twitter and the two Central departments – ministry of law and justice and ministry of information and broadcasting.(REUTERS)
With notices been issued, responses have to be filed to the petition by Twitter and the two Central departments – ministry of law and justice and ministry of information and broadcasting.(REUTERS)

SC seeks govt, Twitter replies on fake news plea

The Supreme Court on Friday sought responses from Twitter India and Centre on a petition demanding regulation of “fake and seditious” content and advertisements circulated on social media platforms from unverified accounts
By Abraham Thomas, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2021 02:13 AM IST

The Supreme Court on Friday sought responses from Twitter India and Centre on a petition demanding regulation of “fake and seditious” content and advertisements circulated on social media platforms from unverified accounts.

The petition filed by Delhi Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) unit’s IT and Social Media Cell chief Vinit Goenka cited the recent order of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued on February 1 directing Twitter to block more than 250 Twitter accounts found to promote fake and provocative contents. Goenka accused Twitter of creating hatred in society by circulating, publishing, and promoting seditious contents and sought a mechanism to deal with such content.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde issued a notice and tagged it with two similar petitions pending in Court on the issue of regulating content on social media. In October 2020, the Court issued notice on a petition by two law students demanding profile verification of social media accounts in order to weed out illicit and graphic content uploaded on social media.

Appearing for Goenka, advocate Ashwini Dubey argued that there was an urgent need for the Court to interfere since, he claimed, there was no law is in place to prevent circulation of anti-national content and posts that spread hatred based on fake news.

“In the absence of any law to deal with offensive and hatred messages, platforms like Twitter are knowingly promoting the messages which are against the law of the land and therefore, the Respondent No.4 (Twitter) needs to explain for circulating and promoting the prohibited content,” the petitioner said.

With notices been issued, responses have to be filed to the petition by Twitter and the two Central departments – ministry of law and justice and ministry of information and broadcasting.

The petition comes a day after the Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who also has the charge for the ministry of electronics and information technology, warned social media companies that they cannot ignore Indian law and told parliament that new rules and codes were in the works for social media companies to follow.

This month, Twitter has been locked in a rare confrontation with the Union government after being given orders to block over 1,300 links -- entire profiles as well as posts -- for alleged incitement during the January 26 farm protest-linked violence. The company complied partially, saying that the orders were not consistent with the law, prompting the government as well as legal experts to accuse it of ignoring the rule of law.

At present, Twitter enjoys a considerable presence in India. According to the petition, 10 per cent of 3.5 million Indian accounts are fake with some of their bearing names and profiles of top constitutional functionaries in the country that tends to mislead the common man.

“Fake accounts are used to promote casteism, communalism, regionalism, linguism,” the petition stated by citing what it said were posts posts by separatist organizations such as Sikhs for Justice, Pakistan-based Inter Services Intelligence, as well as terror groups that it said created fake IDs and foment division.

“The aforesaid act shows that the Respondent 4 (Twitter) is sympathetic to terrorist groups. There is no law/mechanism which prohibits Respondent 4 from doing aforesaid illegal acts, and Respondent 4 does not have its own mechanism” Goenka stated in his petition.

Twitter declined to comment on the matter.

According to Apar Gupta, lawyer and founder of Internet Freedom Foundation, the step initiated by the Court would be injurious to freedom of speech and expression. “Censorship in any form is imperfect and leads to a wide chilling effect on freedom of internet users. Even the category proposed for taking down content such as seditious content is wide which often confounds experts. What amounts to seditious content can be decided only after a criminal trial,” Gupta said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Teachers cited stress nearly twice as often as insufficient pay as a reason for quitting. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
Teachers cited stress nearly twice as often as insufficient pay as a reason for quitting. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)

Stress key reason for teachers to quit job before, during pandemic: Study

ANI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 10:08 PM IST
Most former teachers went on to take jobs with less or equal pay, with 3 in 10 taking jobs with no health insurance or retirement benefits.
Close
Health ministry on Sunday released a detailed guideline on how to self-register for vaccine on Co-Win app.
Health ministry on Sunday released a detailed guideline on how to self-register for vaccine on Co-Win app.

2nd phase vaccination from tomorrow: Here is your checklist

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 10:22 PM IST
Booking once made on Co-Win app can be rescheduled to even a vaccination centre of another city, in case people have to travel between the two doses of vaccination
Close
File photo: National Conference president and former J-K PM Farooq Abdullah. (HT Photo)
File photo: National Conference president and former J-K PM Farooq Abdullah. (HT Photo)

'Congress must unite to defeat ‘divisive’ forces': Farooq Abdullah

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:59 PM IST
  • “I want the Congress party to be strong. I want the Congress to unite and fight the divisive forces," he said.
Close
Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan.(ANI)
Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan.(ANI)

Health Minister lauds contributions of medical professionals in pandemic

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:58 PM IST
He made these remarks at the Global Indian Physicians Congress, organised by the Global Association for Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), through video conference, the ministry said in a statement.
Close
The average voting percentage across all these local bodies together was around 60.26 per cent, it said.(HT Photo )
The average voting percentage across all these local bodies together was around 60.26 per cent, it said.(HT Photo )

Over 60% voter turnout recorded in Gujarat local body polls

PTI, Ahmedabad
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:24 PM IST
As per the provisional figures, voter turnout of 54.95 per cent across 81 municipalities, 62.41 per cent in 31 district panchayats, and 63.42 per cent in 231 taluka panchayat, was recorded, the State Election Commission (SEC) said.
Close
A farmer sleeps inside a mosquito net during a protest against the new farm laws, at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
A farmer sleeps inside a mosquito net during a protest against the new farm laws, at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

Delhi sees 2nd highest mean maximum temperature for Feb since 1901

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:09 PM IST
The highest mean maximum temperature recorded for February in Delhi was 29.7 degrees Celsius in 2006, the IMD officials said.
Close
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that his party will have work round the clock and formulate a strategy in the upcoming polls to fight BJP.(File photo)
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that his party will have work round the clock and formulate a strategy in the upcoming polls to fight BJP.(File photo)

Appreciating BJP's work ethics, Rashid Alvi says Congress must work 24/7

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:59 PM IST
Alvi also commented on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's regret that he could not learn Tamil Nadu, during his monthly radio programme Maan Ki Baat.
Close
A health worker during a dry run for the administration of Covid-19 vaccine.(ANI/ File photo)
A health worker during a dry run for the administration of Covid-19 vaccine.(ANI/ File photo)

News updates from HT: Dry run at 4 govt-run hospitals in Pune tomorrow

PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:56 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Congress flags waves at rallies
Congress flags waves at rallies

Congress faces uphill battle in poll-bound states

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:40 PM IST
Barring Kerala, where the party feels it is poised to defeat the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), the Congress is beset with ally troubles in all other poll-bound states-- Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu -- and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Close
A health worker wearing a PPE kit collects a swab sample of an old lady for the Covid-19 test at Dadar railway station. (ANI Photo)
A health worker wearing a PPE kit collects a swab sample of an old lady for the Covid-19 test at Dadar railway station. (ANI Photo)

8,293 new cases in Maharashtra as Covid-19 spike continues amid lockdown, curbs

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:18 PM IST
There are 12 active containment zones in Mumbai and 133 buildings have been sealed, according to data released by the Bhrihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
Close
The Centre has made FASTags mandatory from February 15 midnight and any vehicle not fitted with it will be charged double the toll at electronic toll plazas across the country, as per the current rules. (HT PHOTO).
The Centre has made FASTags mandatory from February 15 midnight and any vehicle not fitted with it will be charged double the toll at electronic toll plazas across the country, as per the current rules. (HT PHOTO).

Centre to begin live monitoring for toll-plazas to measure queues, waiting time

PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:35 PM IST
  • The live monitoring system will measure the ‘Daily Congestion Index’ for each plaza as well as the overall congestion across the national highway network.
Close
File photo: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.(HT photo)
File photo: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.(HT photo)

New agriculture reform laws death warrant for farmers: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

By S Raju, Meerut
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:19 PM IST
  • Kejriwal said all the previous governments cheated farmers on their demand for an appropriate price for their crops
Close
Hindu Mahasabha organisation member drinks with other members and supporters a cup of panchagavya, a traditional Hindu ritual mixture made of cow dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee, as they attend a ‘gaumutra (cow urine) party’ to fight coronavirus in New Delhi.(Photo: Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)
Hindu Mahasabha organisation member drinks with other members and supporters a cup of panchagavya, a traditional Hindu ritual mixture made of cow dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee, as they attend a ‘gaumutra (cow urine) party’ to fight coronavirus in New Delhi.(Photo: Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)

Rename Congress as Godsevadi Congress Party, Hindu Mahasabha taunts Sonia Gandhi

PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 07:55 PM IST
  • Former corporator Babulal Chaurasiya who joined the Congress recently, used to be an admirer of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.
Close
The 4.41km stretch between Dakshineswar and Noapara was sanctioned 11 years ago but more than 500 encroachments took over seven years for the work to progress.. (Samir Jana / HT Photo)
The 4.41km stretch between Dakshineswar and Noapara was sanctioned 11 years ago but more than 500 encroachments took over seven years for the work to progress.. (Samir Jana / HT Photo)

'Dream of Kolkata': Piyush Goyal on 'world-class' Noapara-Dakshineswar metro

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:13 PM IST
The minister said that the train with world-class facilities will benefit around 50,000 commuters every day.
Close
For those willing to get the vaccine at private centres, each dose is likely to cost <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>250 at the session site. (Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)
For those willing to get the vaccine at private centres, each dose is likely to cost 250 at the session site. (Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

Delhi Covid-19 vaccine third phase starts tomorrow: All you need to know

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 07:27 PM IST
Those who wish to get inoculated at a private hospital will have to pay for their dose. Private hospitals have been allowed to charge up to 250 per dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP