The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed Facebook and Google to remove “objectionable photos” of a woman, which were initially uploaded by one of her former schoolmates in 2012 and subsequently circulated by multiple users without her consent, The Indian Express reported.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru also directed the police to forward the offending material to the National Crime Records Bureau, stating that the content falls within the scope of sexually explicit material relating to a child.
The 24-year-old woman had filed a plea in the High Court seeking removal of the photos from various platforms. The plea stated that a classmate blackmailed her and compelled her to send intimate photographs in 2012, when she was 16 years old. The man kept pursuing her after she completed her schooling and secured admission in an institution abroad in 2014 and even visited her there, she said, adding that he had attacked her when she was abroad and was also held guilty by a foreign court.
The plea stated that the accused pleaded guilty before a Magistrate Court in the United Kingdom in 2017 and was restrained from contacting the woman by any means and barred from entering the city where she was living for two years.
She told the court that in October and November 2019, she found out that he had posted her old photos on various social media platforms, following which the cyber police in Delhi registered an FIR.
In July, Facebook and Google, which own Instagram and YouTube, had told the court that the companies had removed the links to the photos from their various platforms. However, the pictures continued to surface on the Internet through other users.
The court in its order said that the presence of photos on the Internet despite removal of the links “brought into sharp focus the problem of preventing circulation of identified objectionable material on the platforms operated on the net.”
In its order, besides asking Google and Facebook to take down the content, the court also asked the two companies to ensure that such child pornographic material is not hosted on their platforms.