Supreme Court of India while pronouncing its Judgement in the matter of Facebook v. Delhi Assembly Case stated that the Election and Voting processes stand threatened by Social Media Manipulation.
The Apex Court observed that “The information explosion in a digital age is capable of creating new challenges that are insidiously modulating the debate on issues where opinions can be vastly divided and successful functioning of a liberal democracy can only be ensured when citizens can make informed decisions.”
The bench comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Hrishikesh Roy noted that “Entities like Facebook have to remain accountable to those who entrust them with such power. While Facebook has played a crucial role in enabling free speech by providing a voice to the voiceless and a means to escape State censorship, we cannot lose sight of the fact that it has simultaneously become a platform for disruptive messages, voices, ideologies.”
The Court took the reference of the 2016 United States (US) Presidential Elections controversy, where Russia allegedly manipulated the Election process in the US through the platform of Facebook.
Supreme Court dismissed the plea in the case filed by Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook, India against the summons issued by the Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony committee in connection with the north-east Delhi riots last year.
The Court noted that in India, there are about 270 million registered users of Facebook, prone to imminent digital challenges of Social Media Manipulation.
“Election and voting processes, the very foundation of a democratic government, stand threatened by social media manipulation,” the Court stated.
The Court noted that other countries like Australia, United States, United Kingdom and the European Union have made efforts to legally regulate Facebook.