On 11th February 2021, Government of India have categorically warned the Social Media platforms from the Rajya Sabha (Upper House). The GoI said it will take action against Social Media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, if fake news and violence is spread through it.

Points To Note

  • While warning these platforms the Minister of Communications, Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said that though there is freedom of speech but Article 19A of the constitution states this right is subject to reasonable restrictions.
  • Minister further said, India respects social media since it has empowered common people. It also plays a major role in Digital India programme. But, if these platforms are misused to spread fake news and violence, then strict action will be taken.
  • Ravi Shankar Prasad asked the social media platforms to comply with the India Constitution.
  • Minister also said, the constitution of India allows criticism of the government and the Prime Minister of India. But it does not allow spreading fake news.
  • The Government of India also expressed displeasure on Twitter’s delayed compliance regarding its order to remove the provocative tweets on the ongoing farmers’ protests.
  • GoI also warned that the twitter officials in India would be arrested over the Inflammatory content on the platform specially with the hashtag of farmer’s genocide.
  • GoI also said, the platform is not complying with the section 69A of the IT Act (Information Technology Act, 2000).

Section 69A of Information Technology Act, 2000

Section 69A gives powers to the authorities to intercept and monitor any information which are generated, transmitted, received or stored in the computer resource if it is necessary to do. This can be done in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India, defence & security of the country and for preventing incitement of any cognizable offence etc. The IT Act also gives power to the Central Government to block internet sites to safeguard the interests of the nation. However, the act does not impose any public emergency restriction for the GoI.

GoI asks Twitter to Respect Indian Laws GoI asks Twitter to Respect Indian Laws