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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightSC to hear pleas...

SC to hear pleas accusing Twitter of promoting fake news, anti-India content

SC to hear pleas accusing Twitter of promoting fake news, anti-India content

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is expected to hear on Monday pleas seeking directions to the government to enact a law so that social media platform, Twitter can be prosecuted for their alleged "anti-India tweets".

A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar will hear pleas filed by Vinit Goenka, former national co-convener of the BJP IT cell, advocates Vinit Jindal, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay and others on the issue.

Mr Goenka, in his plea, had sought that a mechanism be framed to check advertisements and paid content on Twitter that may be hateful, inciting, or seditious and to rein in social media accounts "in order to stop the hatred, fake, investigative and other news which are contrary to the law of the country or violates the law of the country".

In February, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the Central government and tagged Mr Goenka's plea along with another similar matter already pending before the top court.

Mr Goenka had alleged that Twitter is sympathetic to terrorist groups and even promotes tweets which are anti-India and amount to waging war against Union of India.

The plea claimed that fake news is the root cause of many riots including the riots in Delhi. It added that fake accounts are used to "propagate casteism, communalism, regionalism, linguism, radicalism, and separatism, which endanger fraternity, unity and regional integration."

The plea had stated that on February 1, 2021, Ministry of Home had directed Twitter to block more than 250 Twitter accounts that were promoting fake and provocative contents, but the social media platform refused to do so.

The petition stated that 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 Twitter needs to explain reasons for circulating and promoting the prohibited content."

Another related plea, filed by advocate Vinit Jindal, had sought direction to make laws that regulate and enforce accountability on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram for spreading hate speech and fake news.

His plea had asked the Centre for directions to frame criminal prosecutions on those who are involved in spreading fake news or hate via social media channels.

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