A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a mechanism to check Twitter content and advertisements spreading hatred through fake news and instigative messages via bogus accounts.
The petition, filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vinit Goenka, also a member of the Governing Council, 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 real photo of constitutional authorities and eminent citizens. Therefore, common man relies upon the messages published from these Twitter handles and Facebook accounts,” said the plea filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.
The PIL said that fake news is the root cause of many riots, including the one in Delhi earlier this year, and bogus accounts are used to promote casteism and communalism which endangers fraternity and unity of the country.
“It is submitted that presently total number of twitter handles in India are around 35 million and total number of Facebook accounts are 350 million and experts says that around 10 per cent twitter handles (3.5 million) and 10 per cent Facebook accounts (35 million) are duplicate/bogus/fake,” the plea said.
Political parties use fake social media accounts for self-promotion and image building and to tarnish the image of opponents and contesting candidates, especially during the elections, the plea said.
The plea has also sought directions to make a law as per which an action can be initiated against Twitter and their representatives in India for willfully abetting and promoting anti India tweets and penalize them.
The petition further said that a representation to the concerned authority to act in accordance with the law of the country against social media giant Twitter was filed but no action has been taken so far by the concerned authorities.
It also pointed out that the Ministry of Home Affairs has banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) under the Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act on July 10, 2019, yet it continues to have an active presence on twitter espousing hatred, terrorism and sedition, criminal acts.
“The logic and algorithms that twitter usage should be shared and vetted by Indian government authorities or competent authority for screening anti India tweets...
“KYC of all social media handles in India must be conducted for making social media safe and accountable and traceable,” the plea said.