HC: Social media cos liable for their misuse
Chennai: The Madras high court said on Friday that social media companies cannot avoid liability for damage to society caused by rumour and misinformation passed through their platforms and they need to be held more accountable for such misuse by users.
“Fake news, misinformation and hate speeches can reach hundreds of people and consequently have a psychological impact on them, leading to even unrest. Law and order would be disrupted. The platforms cannot avoid liability for the damage that has been caused through its use,” the court said.
Adivision bench made the observation on a plea by Antony Clement Rubin whose sought linking of Aadhaar with social media accounts to check cybercrime. The plea was later altered to ensure cooperation of social media firms in cybercrime probes.
The court, however, said in India the fundamental right to privacy was not absolute and that the “privacy doctrine cannot outweigh the greater impact on the peace of society”. Freedom of speech comes with responsibility, it added.
The bench adjourned the hearing to October 1.
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