Social media platforms must ensure that they are not used to commit, provoke terrorism, extremism, violence, crime, Center said in Delhi HC


October 22, 2021 10:14 PM STI

New Delhi [India], Oct. 22 (ANI): The Center told Delhi High Court on Friday that social media platforms are required to exercise due diligence, as provided for in section 79 of the Social Media Technology Act 2000. information and the rules notified therein. They must also respect Article 19 (2) of the Constitution and ensure that their platforms are not used to commit and provoke terrorism, extremism, violence and crime.
The government is committed to the freedom of speech and expression and the privacy of its citizens, as enshrined in the Constitution of India. The government does not regulate the content appearing on the social networking platform, the centre’s affidavit states.
The Center also said that by strengthening legal provisions to hold platforms accountable, the government will also promote initiatives to educate citizens to become adept at noticing fake news and to avoid becoming part of the viral circulation of fake news. . .
A campaign to educate schoolchildren about the misuse of social media to spread fake news will be launched. The Common Service Centers will also be engaged in the task of promoting this message to the populations, especially in rural areas. Various stakeholders such as educational institutions, professional and industrial associations, chambers of commerce, etc. would also be involved in this campaign. State governments will also be invited to join this effort to educate citizens on the prevention of the use and abuse of social media, said the Department of Electronic Information Technology (MeitY). .
The Center, through an affidavit, opposed Whatsapp and Facebook‘s petition challenging the newly changed IT rules. He said that WhatsApp has already violated the basic rights of users in India by denying them any right to settle disputes in the country.

Facebook and Whatsapp recently challenged the new rules on the grounds that they violate the right to privacy and are unconstitutional. The Delhi HC had asked the Center to respond to calls challenging the new IT rules for social media intermediaries requiring the messaging app to “trace” the discussions and make arrangements to identify the first sender of the information.
Earlier, WhatsApp, in its statement, said, “Requiring messaging apps to ‘track’ chats is tantamount to asking us to keep a fingerprint of every message sent on WhatsApp, which would break end-to-end encryption and fundamentally affect violation of people’s right to privacy. “
The WhatsApp spokesperson said, “We have consistently joined with civil society and experts around the world to oppose demands that would violate the privacy of our users. In the meantime, we will also continue to engage with the Indian government on practical solutions to keep people safe, including responding to valid legal requests for the information we have. “
On February 25, the Center drew up the 2021 rules on information technology (interim guidelines and code of ethics for digital media), exercising the powers provided for in Article 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act 2000 and replacing the old Guidelines) Regulation 2011.
New guidelines issued by the Indian government have mandated a grievance system for over-top (OTT) and digital portals in the country. (ANI)


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