the High Court of Madhya Pradesh Monday posted a plea notice alleging that social media companies, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter post / host content that is obscene, unregulated, uncertified, sexually explicit, and subject to legal restrictions.

Advocacy was advanced by Maatr Foundation by lawyer Amay Bajaj and it further alleges that the aforementioned social media companies facilitate online gambling, online prostitution, online hate crimes, online economic fraud and other illegal activities.

The bench of Chief Justice Mohamed rafiq and justice Vijay Kumar Shukla ordered the registry that the correct names of the social media companies be added to the list of parties and that the documents filed by the applicants be recorded.

Advances in Advocacy

The advocacy claims that due to the absence of any regulatory authority / guidelines / special laws to control such acts in India, these platforms violate various Indian laws relating to women, children, contracts, e-commerce, rights. intellectual property, betting, terrorism, hate and other crimes.

The plea alleges that these platforms not only objectifying women, but also filling minds with lustful thoughts that violate their fundamental right to live with dignity.

The content is easily accessible to the general public on the Internet. Even children under the age of 18 can easily access this harmful content for society as a whole., adds the plea.

It was further stated in the way that these platforms host not only content that abuses and defames the Indian government, but also the judiciary, executive bodies of India, freedom fighters, defense forces of India as well as blasphemous content on several religions and gods and goddesses in India.

In addition, it was also found that companies also violate user privacy and sell their personal data and other sensitive information to their affiliates and in the open market.

Prayers in Advocacy

  • Frame guidelines to regulate the content disseminated by social media platforms;
  • Direct social media platforms that disseminate such explicit and illegal content to remove all such content from their websites as well as the internet with immediate effect and;
  • Form an AD-HOC committee to deal with the issues raised in this petition and formulate certain legal provisions to enact strict laws on the issues in India.
  • An order to social media platforms to remove any suspected such content in the near future within 24 hours of uploading to social media platforms.

In related news, a PIL has been proposed by Dr Seema Singh, Meghan and Vikram Singh to ask the central government to order WhatsApp to either revoke the new privacy policy or provide users with an opt-out option.

Previously, WhatsApp had told the court that users could simply stop using the app if they did not consent to the policy, and no opt-out option was needed for the same.

The government claimed that the policy violates the rules of information technology, 2011 and that WhatsApp can be prevented from implementing the new policy until the challenge to the validity of the policy is finally decided.

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