The Delhi High Court on Tuesday has issued notice to Central Government, Facebook, Google and Twitter on a plea filed seeking directions to social media companies to remove illegal groups on their platforms for the ‘safety and security of children’ in cyberspace.
A plea has been filed by KN Govindacharya. In his plea, Petitioner has stated that after the ‘bois locker room’ incident, Delhi Police was contacting Instagram India officials while DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal was contacting officials of Facebook Inc.
A two-judge Bench of Justice RS Endlaw and Justice Sangita Dhinga Sehgal heard the matter through video conferencing and sought the stand of Ministry of Home Affairs, MEITY and Ministry of Finance as well as Facebook India Online Services Pvt Ltd, Google India Pvt Ltd & Twitter India Pvt Ltd. on affidavit before the next date of hearing 14th July, 2020.
On behalf of Facebook, and Twitter, it was argued by Senior Advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Sajav Poovaya respectively. Advocate Aditya Gupta appeared for Google while Central Government was represented by Standing Counsel Anurag Ahluwalia. Advocate Virag Gupta for Petitioner KN Govindacharya.
As per Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009, such intermediary companies are duty bound to assist with police and other notified authorities to remove objectionable content. Social Media companies are regularly providing data or removing content as per directions of the Govt authorities, said the application.
As per application, social media companies have employed thousands of content moderators and use technologies like artificial intelligence to remove illegal content on their own. Allowing children below 13 years despite full knowledge and encouraging objectionable unlawful groups creates huge profit for social media companies, contended by the applicant.
As per petition, social media companies must also remove all unlawful groups, which are against Indian laws as well as their own community standards. Govt. disclosure of designated officer of intermediary companies will help police and other authorities in performing their lawful obligations.
Read the application here;Interim-Application-with-Affidavit
-India Legal Bureau