A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking an age-based access control to social media and to devise a profile verification mechanism to eliminate illicit content on social media.
The petition has been filed by Skand Bajpai and Abhyudaya Mishra, law students of New Law College, Bharathi Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Pune. They say that this petition became imperative when no satisfactory action was taken on their June 9 complaint to cybercrime.gov.in with regard to illicit content being traded on social media.
The petitioners pray for putting in place an efficient mechanism to deal with such content in the future, as well as for appropriate laws to be put on place for the greater accountability of intermediary social media platforms.
Highlighting the menace of the toxic activity of procuring illicit and graphic video content, its advertisement and sale through the use of intermediary platforms, the petitioners have urged the Court to direct that the government notify and enforce the Information Technology [Intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules] 2018.
It is further urged that the authorities be directed to lay down a suitable framework to regulate the access to internet for minors.
Importantly, the laws must ensure there is a system and mechanism in place for the verification of social media profiles to enable the weeding out of fake and catfish profiles that primarily engage in such activities, the plea says.
This petition is filed by two law students who have approached the Supreme Court after their representation highlighting these issues made to the Government’s cybercrime wing did not receive any response.
The petitioners have sought directions to devise a mechanism for verification of these social media profiles as multiplicity of accounts and unverified profiles promote anonymity and impersonation. It makes it gruelling for the law enforcement agencies to trace a cyber offender. Verified social media profiles would encourage accountability and deter individuals from engaging themselves in offences in the virtual world.
In order to bring a change in the mindset of the people the petitioners have prayed for upgradation of the education policy for inclusion of efficient and mandatory adolescent sex education to remove the social taboo surrounding sex and sexuality.