Social Media Laws and its Implications
Social media has become an integral part of our lives, not only for individuals, but also for small businesses and their employees. By using the social platform smartly, SMEs can promote their products and services directly and for free to increase brand awareness. However, improper use can cause many problems. The Information Technology Act, which was adopted in the year 2000 to regulate, control, and deal with concerns resulting from IT, governs social media legislation in India. The Indian information technology legislation of 2000 defines social networking medium as a "intermediary" (IT Act 2000). As a result, social networking sites in India are responsible for a variety of conduct and omissions that are illegal under Indian law.
Section 66A of the IT Act was created to govern social media law in India, and it is significant since it controls and regulates all legal concerns concerning social media law in India. This section expressly prohibits the transmission, publication, or distribution of offensive or unwarranted messages, mails, or comments. It's possible that the objectionable message can be in form of text, image, audio, video or any other electronic record which is capable of being transmitted. In the current scenarios such sweeping powers under the IT Act provides a tool in the hands of the Government to curb the misuse of the Social Media Law India in any form.
However, in 2015, in a landmark judgments upholding the proper to unfastened speech in latest times, the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal and Ors. Vs Union of India , struck down Section 66A of the Information & Technology Act, 2000. The ruling that's being lauded via way of means of the not unusualplace guy and criminal luminaries alike, determined the Cyber regulation provision to be open-ended, indistinct and unconstitutional as a result of the limit it induced to the Indian citizens` proper to unfastened speech.The repeal of S.66A does now no longer but bring about an unrestricted proper to unfastened speech in view that analogous provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) will maintain to use to social media on-line viz. Intentionally Insulting Religion Or Religious Beliefs , Promoting Enmity Between Groups On Grounds Of Religion, Race Etc ., Defamation , Statements conducing to Public Mischief , Insulting The Modesty Of A Woman , Criminal Intimidation (S 506),etc.
The trouble of censorship of on-line content material in India is a difficult one – the Constitution lets in censorship in positive restrained instances. This is a hassle as because of the worldwide nature of the Internet, it's far very hard to govern content material being uploaded in overseas international locations and being considered in India. Further, the thorny trouble of who receives to determine to censor content material and beneathneath what instances is a nuanced debate – which lamentably has a tendency to be hijacked through arguments primarily based totally on protection concerns / want for large emergency provisions. Most tries at censorship have consequently been haphazard and inconsistent.
Further, troubles raised through communal, defamatory and violent content material (specifically toward women) keep to acquire little or no attention. Particularly stressful is the shortage of accountability, transparency and oversight withinside the system. One hopes that the Supreme Court will take suitable movement through hanging down the applicable provisions withinside the IT Act thereby forcing the legislature and government to install area a extra open, equitable and simply structures of censorship that genuinely abides through the Constitutional spirit embodied in A 19(1)(a).