Facebook cannot be excused from appearing before the Delhi Assembly Panel probing Delhi Riots: SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that Facebook plays an important role in promoting, controlling, generating and modulating information. It cannot seek out an approach that it is just a platform that posts third party content with no role of its generation or promotion. It rejected its India head’s plea to dismiss the summons issued to him to appear before the panel probing Delhi riots issued by the Delhi Assembly.

The bench headed by Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy further observed that Facebook does not have an innocent or inactive role to play while dealing with third party content.

It was further observed that social media plays a threatening role for the foundation of a nation with democratic values in times of elections. While refusing the arguments of Senior Advocate Harish Salve the court held that, Facebook is a platform where political differences get reflected and hence it cannot just wash its hand off the issue.

The court made reference to the trend of misinformation through digital media. It was further held that India’s Unity in Diversity cannot be allowed to get disrupted.

The Court observed that considering the degree of influence social media has on general public, it is required for safeguard and caution to be put into place and which must stand parallel to the democratic values. It further held that Facebook cannot be excused from appearing before the Delhi Assembly Panel.

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