IndiaIf Trump can be blocked, why not post against Hindu deities, Delhi...

If Trump can be blocked, why not post against Hindu deities, Delhi High Court pulls up Twitter


new DelhiThe Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up Twitter for not taking suo motu action against an account that allegedly published objectionable content against a Hindu goddess. The High Court said that the microblogging platform is not concerned about the sensitivity of people from other regions and races of the world.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi, while hearing a petition filed by the account named Atheist Republic, against the alleged indecent posts on mother Kali, directed Twitter to explain how it blocks the account. The bench also noted that there are instances when accounts of people have been blocked on social media platforms.

The bench said if such an incident had happened to some other religion, the social media platform would have been more careful and sensitive. This ultimately undermines the fact that you are sensitive to people’s sentiments and that you will block them with content. Justice Navin Chawla is also included in this bench.

‘You would have been more sensitive to any other religion’
Hearing the matter, the bench said, “You are not concerned about the sensitivity of people from other regions and races of the world. We say that you would have been more careful and sensitive if such things had happened in relation to other religions.” Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for US company Twitter, said it has removed the objectionable material in the present case and an FIR has been registered in relation to the post.

‘Why did you block Donald Trump?’
Luthra said Twitter cannot block a person and take action against alleged objectionable content in the absence of a court order. To this the court asked, “If this is the argument then why did you block Mr. Donald Trump’s Twitter account?” The court also said that prima facie the stand of Twitter that it cannot block the account is not entirely correct.

The court observed that since Twitter did not object to the court’s earlier prima facie approach with regard to removal of the alleged objectionable material in the present case, the social media platform should have acted on its own. We may take note of the fact that Respondent No. 3 (Twitter) has blocked the accounts of certain persons from time to time. We direct Respondent No. 3 to place before the Court the policy and circumstances in which the course of action is to be taken.”

There is a process to block Twitter account- Central Government
Central government counsel Harish Vaidyanathan said there is a process to block Twitter accounts against which complaints are received. The court directed the Center to examine the material in the present case and decide whether the account needs to be blocked under the Information Technology Act. The court directed Twitter, the central government as well as Ethist Republic to file their reply and took on record the undertaking of the Twitter user that it would not post any such objectionable material in the meantime.

Atheist Republic’s lawyer said his account could not be blocked without hearing him. Petitioner Aditya Singh Deshwal said the Twitter user should be blocked for posting “ridiculous content against all religions” and being a habitual offender.

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