The High Court Suggests Introducing Age Limit for Social Media Use

The High Court Suggests Introducing Age Limit for Social Media Use

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The High Court of Karnataka has proposed the idea of setting an age limit for using social media platforms, similar to the legal age for consuming alcohol. The court made this observation while hearing an appeal X Corp (formerly Twitter) challenging takedown orders issued the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY).

MeiTY had issued 10 Government Orders under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act between February 2021 and February 2022, directing X Corp to block various accounts, tweets, URLs, and hashtags. Twitter challenged the orders related to 39 URLs.

The court expressed concerns about the addictive nature of social media platforms, particularly for school-going children, and raised doubts about their ability to judge what is in the best interest of the nation. Justice G Narendar suggested that an age limit, similar to the one imposed on alcohol consumption, should be considered to regulate social media use.

Furthermore, the court highlighted the negative impact of internet usage on young minds and recommended that not only social media content but also internet content should be regulated. It emphasized the need for the government to bring in an age restriction for using social media.

During the hearing, X Corp’s counsel argued that users were not informed about the blocking of their tweets and accounts. The court questioned the government’s actions, stating that X Corp should not be forbidden from disclosing the orders if it needs to defend itself.

The court acknowledged the importance of national security and suggested that the government may need to revise the rules to ensure that X Corp is not left without any recourse. However, it also emphasized that X Corp should not have the authority to judge the content on its own.

The case was adjourned to decide on interim relief sought X Corp, and the hearing of the appeal will follow thereafter.

– High Court of Karnataka
– Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY)