HC: If Twitter can block Trump, why not Hindu gods’ abuser? | India News

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court asked Twitter on Monday to furnish its policy on blocking users posting objectionable content, saying the platform is not bothered about the sensitivities of people from “other regions” and ethnicities.
The HC took a dim view of Twitter’s reluctance to act against a user who repeatedly posted objectionable content against Hindu goddesses. When the site claimed it doesn’t block individual accounts unless there is a court order, the HC retorted: “If this is the logic, why have you blocked Mr Trump?”, referring to former US President Donald Trump. A bench acting acting Chief Justice Vipin Sang and Justice Navin Chala said, “It is ultimately boiling down to this – that people you feel sensitive about… the content, you will block them. You are not bothered about the sensitivities of other people in other regions of the world, of ethnicities. We dare say that if these kinds of things were done in relation to another religion, you would be much more careful, more sensitive.”
It was hearing a plea seeking to block an account for allegedly obnoxious posts on “Maa Kaali” and other Hindu goddesses by user “AtheistRepublic” and asking Twitter to produce its standard operating procedure on blocking of accounts.
Twitter that it has removed the objectionable content in the present case and an FIR has been registered in relation to the posts. Its counsel said the platform “can’t block any individual” and cannot take action against alleged objectionable content in the absence of a court order.
The HC said prima facie it is of the view that Twitter’s stand in this regard is “not entirely correct” while taking note that Twitter has “blocked the account of certain individuals from time to time”.
The HC underlined that Twitter also needs to follow the framework under the relevant IT Rules for social media intermediaries and asked it to explain if it is forced to keep a watch on its users for offensive content and whether it blocks an account on receiving repeated complaints. The court directed Twitter, the Center and the handleAtheistRepublic” to respond to the plea, while taking on record the handle’s assurance that in the time it would not post any offending material. It also asked “AtheistRepublic” to file an affidavit disclosing its constitution, location, presence of any place of business and privates of its authorized representatives in India if any.
Petitioner Aditya Singh Deshwal said the Twitter user should be blocked for putting “ridiculous content against all religions” and being a habitual offender. The petitioner had claimed that Hindu goddess were represented in a disgraceful and outrageous manner by the user and that such content was in violation of the new IT Rules.

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