New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday February 9 issued notice to Meta Inc (formerly Facebook) on a plea moved by BJP’s Tamil Nadu spokesperson S.G. Suryah challenging the decision of the social media giant to restrict access and demonetise his account without affording him an opportunity of being heard.
Issuing notice to Meta and the Centre, Justice V. Kameswar Rao directed them to file a reply by March 30.
Filed through Advocate Mukesh Sharma, the plea contended that in December last year the two Facebook posts containing YouTube videos were marked as community Standard Violation and thereafter the Petitioner’s Facebook Page was restricted for a month with several limitations along with a disclaimer of ‘Risk of my Facebook Page getting unpublished’.
The plea stated that the content of the said YouTube videos was against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), made by a novelist, orator and journalist, Jayakanthan. However, Meta had allegedly marked the two videos as ‘pro LTTE’ and went ahead to restrict access to his Facebook, following which it was also demonetised, the petitioner claimed.
“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 plea read.
Further it said: “There is no sanction for this action under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the latest the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 made thereunder.”
During the course of the hearing, Advocate Raghav Avasthi, who appeared for the petitioner, pointed out that the respondent meta misinterpreted the contents of those posts which were posted in the Tamil Language and took a wrongful decision by restricting the petitioner’s reach to the public at large. This was done without even affording any opportunity of hearing to him, he argued.