Tamil Nadu

PIL plea in HC seeks panel to censor content on social media

Raising concern over misleading information and obscene content being shared on popular social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, a public interest litigation petition filed before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday sought a direction to the Centre to regulate the content and form a panel of members to censor content on social media.

A Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and S. Ananthi ordered notice to the Centre in the petition filed by S. Umamaheswaran of Tirunelveli.

The petitioner said that the Centre must initiate steps to control, monitor, guide and regulate such content in view of many obscene content being shared widely on social media platforms.

Terming the content as disturbing, he cited certain videos on YouTube and said that in the name of asking public opinion, obscene and abusive questions were asked to the public. Prank shows, too, had abusive content, he said and added that there was no effective control over the content and it led to the spread of hateful, misleading information and cyberbullying.

Such content has a psychological effect on the people and is easily accessible. Such videos are removed only if they are reported for obscene content. By the time they are removed, the videos are already shared widely. Therefore, the content must be monitored, he said and sought a direction to the Centre to take effective steps in this regard.

The petitioner also sought a direction to the Centre to form a panel of members to censor content on social media platforms similar to how films were subjected to censor by the Central Board of Film Certification, before they were released for public viewing. The court sought a response from the Centre and adjourned the hearing in the case till February 24.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 5:50:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/pil-plea-in-hc-seeks-panel-to-censor-content-on-social-media/article33680037.ece

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