Facebook’s Stand Sought On BJP Leader’s Plea Against Restricted Account

Facebook’s Stand Sought On BJP Leader’s Plea Against Restricted Account

BJP leader SG Suryah claimed his Facebook page was restricted for a month in December. (Representational)

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the stand of Facebook on a petition by a spokesperson of BJP Tamil Nadu against the social media platform’s decision to restrict and demonetise his account.

Justice V Kameswar Rao issued notice on the petition by SG Suryah to Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, as well as the Centre, and asked them to file their response.

The petitioner, represented by lawyer Raghav Awasthi, has asserted that Facebook violated his right to free speech when it acted arbitrarily to restrict his verified page without even affording any opportunity of hearing.

The petitioner has said that apart from being the spokesperson of BJP’s Tamil Nadu wing, he is also the Vice President of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Tamil Nadu.

He has claimed that in December, his Facebook page was restricted for a month along with a disclaimer of “Risk of Facebook Page getting Unpublished” pursuant to his two posts sharing a YouTuber video which were marked as ‘Community Standard Violation’.

He has submitted that Facebook misinterpreted the contents of the two posts and wrongfully restricted his reach to the public at large.

“Unfortunately, Respondent No.2 (Meta Platforms) marked these two posts as “Pro-LTTE” and therefore has restricted Petitioner’s Facebook Page alongside marking Community Standards Violations.

“The Respondent No.2 misinterpreted the contents of aforesaid two posts, which were posted in Tamil language and took a wrongful decision by restricting the Petitioner’s reach to the public at large and that too without even affording any opportunity of hearing to the Petitioner,” the petition filed through lawyer Mukesh Sharma said.

The petitioner has prayed that his Facebook account be re-instated with the same reach as it had prior to the action.

The petition has argued that there is no provision in law, especially under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which empowers a social media platform to edit or modify content before transmission suo-motu.

“The unprofessional attitude of Respondent No.2 against the Petitioner has made him believe that he is specifically being targeted for his political and ideological inclinations and this is the reason that an extremely popular Facebook Page of the Petitioner was killed of its reach,” the petition alleged.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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