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SC issues notice to Centre, Twitter over plea seeking check on content, ads that 'spread hatred'

News Agencies | Updated on: 12 February 2021, 12:36 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and microblogging platform Twitter and others on a plea seeking a mechanism to check content and advertisements spreading hatred through fake news and instigative messages through bogus accounts.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde while issuing the notice sought their response on the plea and tagged it along with similar pending plea.

It stated that in the absence of a mechanism or a law to check online content, social media platforms such as Twitter and others have been used by some persons to "amplify and call out for activities that are against the spirit of the Union of India".

The petition filed by BJP leader Vinit Goenka said that there are hundreds of fake Twitter handles and bogus Facebook accounts in the name of eminent people and high dignitaries.

"These fake Twitter handles and Facebook accounts use a real photo of constitutional authorities and eminent citizens and common people reply to the messages published from these accounts," the plea said.

It further sought a direction to the government to set up a mechanism to check advertisements and paid content on Twitter that may be hateful, inciting or seditious.

Fake news is the root cause of many riots, including the one in Delhi in 2020, and bogus accounts are used to promote casteism and communalism which endangers fraternity and unity of the country, the PIL added.

This comes amid tensions between the Centre and the microblogging site regarding the suspension and ban of accounts that have allegedly been spreading fake news and misinformation.


Also Read: Centre raises concern over Twitter's commitment to transparency, says it allows fake, unverified info

First published: 12 February 2021, 12:36 IST