Media platforms

Social media platforms must uphold basic rights of citizens, says Center in Delhi HC – The New Indian Express

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Center told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that an individual’s liberty and liberty cannot be “attacked or abandoned in the wake of social and technological progress” and that social media platforms must respect fundamental rights of citizens and abide by the Constitution of India.

In an affidavit filed in response to a Twitter user’s petition against the microblogging platform suspending his account, the central government said social media platforms should not delete the account themselves or suspend it completely in any case.

The center explained that a platform can give notice to the user and request the removal of specific information or content that violates the platform’s policies or applicable information technology rules. (guidelines for intermediaries) and only in cases where the majority of content/posts/tweets in a user account are illegal, the platform may take the extreme measure of deleting the entire information or suspending the entire account.

He said that the complete removal of the platform is against the spirit of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India and if only any part or content is illegal then the platform can take action. proportionate measures to only remove this alleged information and not completely suspend the user account.

The central government has stressed that a major social media intermediary must be held accountable for subjugating and supplanting fundamental rights like the right to freedom of speech and expression, otherwise it would have “disastrous consequences for any nation democratic”.

“Platforms must respect the fundamental rights of citizens and must not delete the account itself or completely suspend the user’s account in any case. Whether the deletion of the entire information or the user’s account shall be a last resort and the Platform may at any time at any time, strive to protect the fundamental rights of Users by following the principles of natural justice and afford the User reasonable time and opportunity to explain their position,” said the affidavit filed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) through attorney Manish Mohan.

“The SSMIs must be held accountable for subjugating and supplanting fundamental rights such as the right to freedom of speech and expression, otherwise it would have disastrous consequences for any democratic nation. It is humbly argued that freedom and the freedom of any individual cannot be infringed or abandoned in the wake of social and technological progress,” he added.

Stating that it is the guardian of the fundamental rights of users in cyberspace, the Center said that a social network account can only be suspended or deleted in cases such as the interests of sovereignty, security and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or under a court order or the content is manifestly illegal, such as sexual abuse material, etc.

“In all other cases, the user must be given notice and a transparent process of natural justice, including the right to go to the platform’s complaints officer and the appropriate provision for appeals. in order to ensure a transparent and fair process that meets all the principles of natural justice. Any outright disparagement is contrary to the spirit of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India to which every citizen is entitled.” affidavit.

“In the considered opinion of the Respondent Respondent, if only part or a few contents are illegal, the platform may take proportionate measures to remove only this alleged information and not suspend the user’s account completely”, a- he added.


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