Tuesday, June 22, 2021
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Illicit content on net: Plea in SC seeks age-based control for social media, punitive measures

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New Delhi: A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking an age-based access control to social media and to devise a profile verification mechanism to eliminate illicit content on social media.

The petition has been filed by Skand Bajpai and Abhyudaya Mishra, law students of New Law College, Bharathi Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Pune. They say that this petition became imperative when no satisfactory action was taken on their June 9 complaint to cybercrime.gov.in with regard to illicit content being traded on social media.

The petitioners have prayed to institute proper investigation and legal proceedings against the users of social media profiles who are indulged in the advertisement, sale and procurement of illicit content (CSAM, rape videos) and private graphic information and to ensure deletion of such content, along with formulation of an efficient mechanism to deal with such content in the future.

The petitioners have sought directions to devise a mechanism for verification of these social media profiles as multiplicity of accounts and unverified profiles promote anonymity and impersonation. It makes it gruelling for the law enforcement agencies to trace a cyber offender. Verified social media profiles would encourage accountability and deter individuals from engaging themselves in offences in the virtual world.

In order to bring a change in the mindset of the people the petitioners have prayed for upgradation of the education policy for inclusion of efficient and mandatory adolescent sex education to remove the social taboo surrounding sex and sexuality.

In order to curb incidents of morphing pictures and videos online and engaging in revenge porn, the petitioners have further urged the court for a gender-neutral legislation and to criminalise impersonation to protect the identity of individuals.

Read Also: 808 students write To SC, protesting CBSE’s decision to conduct compartment examination amid COVID 19

It has been further prayed to formulate an appropriate law regulating any minor’s access to social media and laying down appropriate age limit for such access in consonance with the present Indian legal framework.

– India Legal Bureau

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