The Need for a Minimum User Age Limit on Social Media

The Need for a Minimum User Age Limit on Social Media

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The High Court of Karnataka has suggested that the Central government should implement a minimum user age limit for accessing social media. The court made these remarks while hearing an appeal filed X Corp (formerly Twitter) regarding the blocking orders passed against them for removing objectionable posts and blocking accounts. Justice G. Narendar emphasized that it would be best to ban social media altogether, citing concerns about the addiction of schoolchildren to these platforms. He suggested that a user age limit of 21 should be imposed, highlighting the immaturity of individuals aged 17-18 to understand the interests of the nation.

In response to this suggestion, the counsel representing the Central government mentioned that the existing law already requires users to provide KYC (Know Your Customer) documents for certain online games. Justice Narendar questioned why similar measures should not be extended to social media. The court also expressed the need to amend the rules to ensure that intermediaries like X are not prosecuted when asked to take down objectionable content or accounts while maintaining the confidentiality of blocking orders.

This observation the High Court of Karnataka raises important questions about the impact of social media on young individuals and the need for regulation. It highlights the concerns over addiction and the potential negative effects on the development and well-being of schoolchildren. Implementing a minimum user age limit might be seen as a step towards addressing these concerns, as it could help protect young users from the potential risks associated with unrestricted access to social media platforms.

While the court’s suggestion opens up a discussion on the appropriate age for social media access, further considerations such as parental guidance, educational programs, and digital literacy also need to be taken into account. Ultimately, any policy decisions regarding age limits on social media should be based on a comprehensive understanding of the benefits and risks involved.

– High Court of Karnataka
– Information Technology Act, 2000