BJP member Tejasvi Surya raised the issue of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday, allegedly arbitrarily condemning user-posted content, especially those posted using “nationalist methods,” and seeking government intervention To protect such content.
Surya put forward on Lok Sabha’s “zero hour” issue, saying that for a long time, there have been many “credible” allegations against Twitter, Facebook and its affiliates, which have “arbitrarily combined with the content posted by third-party users.” Unilateral supervision and review”, especially those who adopt “nationalist methods.”
He said: “This not only constitutes a major constitutional challenge on the basis of unreasonable restrictions on freedom of speech, but also constitutes illegal interference during the election.”
Members of Congress said that Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms claim to be intermediaries under the IT Act of 2000.
He said that the key element of this definition is that the role of the above-mentioned intermediary agencies is limited to processing, storing and transmitting third-party user data, and does not include interference with user content.
Therefore, Article 79 of the Act provides that these intermediaries can be exempted from liability. He said that the intermediary gained protection that ordinary publishers could not.
Article 19, paragraph 2 of the Constitution authorizes the government to impose reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom “for the benefit of public order”, while Article 69 of the Information Technology Act allows the government to intercept any information and request information Decrypt.
Surya said that the guideline essentially authorizes private intermediaries to delete any content deemed to violate its guideline based on user complaints or at their request.
He said that these guidelines not only violated the regulations of the parent company, but also violated the regulations of the parents, because the basis they provided was too broad and would violate the constitutionality standard set by the Supreme Court in the Shreya Singhal case, and at the same time repeal Article 66A of the IT Law (this gives the police the power to arrest a person for posting “objectionable” content online).
He said that these guidelines are problematic because they enable private companies to basically perform public functions and act as censors of freedom of speech without government supervision, thus effectively and seriously affecting the protection of the basic rights of freedom of speech. .
He said: “Therefore, I urge the government to abolish such unconstitutional guidelines and issue new guidelines to manage social media platforms, thereby protecting citizens’ basic rights to free speech and protecting our democracy from foreign interference.”
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