Fake news and trolling: Supreme Court asks government to frame guidelines

Fake news and trolling Court

The long hand of law has finally reached social media domain


There is this fake news problem which is already huge and social media is the primary reason behind that. Now, as per a new Supreme Court of India ruling, the union government has been tasked with forming guidelines to curb this menace.

In a recent development, a bench of justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose was hearing the matter on Tuesday and expressed that social media has taken a “dangerous turn” in India. “I am thinking of giving up my smartphone and switching to a basic phone,” Justice Gupta, who is leading the bench, said.
One of the main issues which were cited is that as things stood now; there was no way of tracing the source or origin of a forwarded WhatsApp or Facebook post. Hence, the court has given the central government a timeframe of three weeks to come with guidelines that will both prevent the technology’s misuse, as well as protect users’ privacy.

Apart from this, the Supreme Court also wants users who have been trolled or defamed on social media to have some sort of a redressal mechanism which they could access before they take the step of filing a criminal complaint.

“Intermediaries cannot say that they don’t have the technology to deal with such misuse,” the bench said. “If you have a technology to spread it, you have a technology to check it. The government must bring in a tighter regimen addressing all concerns.”

“No one should have to just give such information because a police officer asks for it,” the court said. “I have a right to privacy,” said Justice Gupta.

“The State is powerful enough to protect its rights. But what happens if I am trolled or defamed? My reputation is destroyed? I must have a mechanism other than having to file a criminal case,” Justice Gupta added.

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