Petition in Supreme Court for regulatory mechanism for Social media platforms like Twitter. Accuses Twitter of bias, shadow ban and change of algorithm

    Young lawyer files PIL in the Supreme Court, urges GOI form rules for SM

    Young lawyer files PIL in the Supreme Court, urges GOI form rules for SM
    Young lawyer files PIL in the Supreme Court, urges GOI form rules for SM

    The petition pointed out various controversial operations of Twitter in India and other countries

    A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is filed in Supreme Court seeking the need for guidelines from government on the conduct of social media platforms like Twitter. The petition cited many biased activities of Twitter in India and indulging in political campaigns, hate campaigns to divide society in the absence of laws or regulatory mechanism in India. The petition has been filed by the young lawyer Mehek Maheshwari who earlier took on noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan for contempt of court case for tweeting against Chief Justice of S A Bobde[1].

    “The social media in any country/ democracy/ economy are the platforms which facilitate the free exchange of thoughts between the people. Social media platforms are operated generally without much direct intervention & control in the Self Governance Style. Social media platforms are free from government intervention as these are run by private companies. It is of no doubt that these platforms provide people with a platform & extended facility to express themselves. But, when these platforms start playing with the Nations’/ Economic Institutions by way of acting biasedly in the name of self-governance through catching the thread of a certain ideology subjecting the countries’ harmony to unrest and undermining the confidence of the people in general on the sovereign functions and independent functions of institutions like Supreme Court of India and other constitutional bodies,” said the petition pointing out various controversial operations of Twitter in India and other countries.

    Social networks prioritize which content a user sees in their feed first by the likelihood that they will actually want to see it. As a social media platform, Twitter also uses an algorithm to run its procedural operation.

    The petition said that due to lack of government control and intervention on the social media platform Twitter, it acts the way they see fit, be it ideology or desires. The petitioner Advocate Mehek Maheshwari pointed out that Twitter is using many controversial algorithms to play dubious activities.

    “It is pertinent to mention that social media algorithms are a way of sorting posts in a users’ feed based on relevancy instead of publishing time. Social networks prioritize which content a user sees in their feed first by the likelihood that they will actually want to see it. As a social media platform, Twitter also uses an algorithm to run its procedural operation.

    “That as Twitter is not having government control so it freely acts unethically & shadow bans many accounts which do not suit its ideological inclination. Shadowban (also known as ghost ban) is one of the most discussed aspects of social media platforms. Over the years, a number of users have experienced that their content does not reach the desired amount of users. Shadowbanning is an act where a social media portal can partially block a user from their online community. Users do not have a way to know whether they have been shadowbanned unless they experience a decrease in their reach,” detailed the petition on citing various examples of Twitter’s covert techniques like ‘Shadow Ban’.

    The petition accused that the Twitter crossed all limits of lawlessness when it supported the mocking of the highest judiciary of the nation that is also institutionally of Supreme Court of Nation & individually of the judges as well. “Incidences where Twitter did not pull down the tweets in mockery of the judiciary, even when such tweets are easy to identify since they are from verified Twitter accounts. It’s been the simplest task for Twitter to block such accounts, but it did not care to do so,” said the petitioner citing various instances, seeking a regulatory mechanism in India on social media platforms.

    References:

    [1] Noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan falls flat on young lawyer Mehek Maheshwaris case on Contempt of CourtAug 15, 2020, PGurus.com

    1 COMMENT

    1. All that social media has to do or be forced to do, before they usage is banned in the country
      1) Abusing posts – not allowed. Users posting such messages are punishable & fined
      2) Incorrect information or data – punishable by law for that User who posted it
      3) Withholding any comment / post – i.e. siding with Jihadis or Pakistan ISI or any anti-India / anti-country activities – punishable, fined & banned in the country i.e. the Indian representatives will be put behind bars after giving court notices….etc., legal process is done.

      Tiwtter or Facebook – or any other company, they have to share the member’s details else prepared for being banned or its offices be locked (NO Indian operations will be allowed) & It shall be blocked in India.

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