Social media users can act against platform for suspending account without notice, says Centre
User accounts must only be permanently removed as a last resort, the government said.
Social media users can initiate proceedings against the platform if it suspends their accounts without notice, the Centre on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court, according to Live Law.
The government made the submission while responding to petitions challenging the permanent ban on Twitter accounts called “wokeflix” and “MeghBulletin”.
In an affidavit, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that social media platforms should respect the fundamental rights of citizens and suspend accounts permanently only as a last resort.
“…if only some portion or few contents are unlawful then the platform may take proportionate action of removing such alleged information alone and not,” the ministry said in the affidavit, according to Live Law. “The platforms must respect the fundamental rights of the citizens and should not take down the account itself or completely suspend the user account in all cases.”
The government told the court that a social media platform’s suspension notice to users must explain the reason behind the action, The Indian Express reported.
“When an SSMI [Significant Social Media Intermediary] platform takes such a decision to suspend the whole or part of the user account ‘on its own accord’ due to its policy violation, it should afford a reasonable opportunity to the user to defend his side,” the government said.
It added that the social media platform can however suspend accounts with sexually explicit material, child pornography, bot activity or malware, and terrorism-related content without notice.