July 31, 2021

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Supreme Court’s strong comment on Facebook – Digital platform is not railway platform… know the whole matter

Supreme Court's strong comment on Facebook - Digital platform is not railway platform... know the whole matter

Highlights:

  • Supreme Court dismisses Facebook’s petition challenging the summons on behalf of a committee of Delhi Assembly
  • During this, the court also made some harsh comments, saying – digital platforms are not railway platforms, they can be uncontrolled.
  • The court said that social media manipulation is threatening the election and voting process across the world.
  • In fact, the Peace and Harmony Committee of the Assembly has summoned Facebook for its alleged role in the 2020 Delhi riots.

New Delhi
Facebook has got a setback from the Supreme Court. The court has refused to stay the summons issued by the panel of Delhi Assembly to the Vice President of Facebook India regarding the Delhi riots. During this, the Supreme Court also made some very harsh comments. The court said that digital platforms are not like railway platforms where the movement of trains is controlled. Today the democratic foundation is being threatened by manipulation through social media.

‘Social media manipulation threatens the foundation of democracy’
The Supreme Court said, “… this kind of effect is being seen in established independent democracies all over the world and they are concerned. Elections and the voting process, which are the foundation of a democratic government, are under threat from social media manipulations.

‘Digital platforms can also be completely uncontrolled’
The Supreme Court said, “The technological age has created digital platforms – these are not like railway platforms where the movement of trains is controlled. These digital platforms can become completely uncontrolled at some point of time, they have their own challenges.

‘Social media is very powerful, there should be responsibility too’
Referring to the power of social media, the Supreme Court said that it has 2.85 billion monthly active users as of March 2021. This is more than a third of the total population of the world. The court said, “If we look at the national context, Facebook is the most popular social media platform in India with about 270 million registered users. With such great power comes responsibility.

Facebook gave power to people but its disadvantages are also not less
The Supreme Court also said that Facebook has played an important role in giving people freedom of speech and expression. It should not be guarded by the state but the fact also cannot be ignored that subversive messages, voices and ideology are also emerging from this platform.

this is the whole matter
In fact, in the case of Delhi riots of February 2020, the Peace and Harmony Committee of the Delhi Legislative Assembly has summoned Ajit Mohan, Vice President and MD of Facebook India. The committee has summoned Mohan on September 10 and 18 last year and asked him to appear before it. The summons have been sent by the committee in connection with the probe into his role in the spread of alleged inflammatory speeches during the riots. Facebook had filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the summons. During the hearing on the same, the court made these harsh comments and dismissed the petition. However, on September 23 last year, the Supreme Court, while giving relief to Facebook, ordered the committee of the Delhi Assembly not to take any coercive action against it.

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