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The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday suggested that it would be better to restrict the accessibility to social media from youngsters, especially the school going children by bringing in an age limit. According to a PTI report, a bench comprising Justices G. Narender and Vijaykumar A. Patil observed the present digital scenario and recommended this measure.
The Court recommended either implementing a ban on social media or setting a minimum age of 21 for users, highlighting concerns about the addictive nature of these platforms for school-going children and questioning their maturity to discern national interests at the age of 17 or 18 when compared to the voting age of 21.
The bench was hearing the writ appeal filed by X Corp, formerly Twitter Inc, related to the Centre’s directives to block specific tweets and accounts in 2021 and 2022 challenging the order and the cost of INR 50 lakh, imposed by the single judge. Meanwhile, the bench reportedly indicated that it would pass orders on Wednesday on two interlocutory applications (IA) filed by the X Corp, including the one seeking for adding additional grounds. The court said that the only aspect to be examined is whether the content in question violates section 69A (1) and (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The counsel representing the Central government informed the Court that current legislation mandates users to provide Aadhaar and other documentation to access specific online games. In response, the Court raised the question of why similar measures were not being applied to social media platforms, as per the report.
The Court acknowledged the concerns, particularly related to the justification and reasons behind the Central government’s blocking orders, emphasising the need for proper justifications to protect social media intermediaries from potential legal action by users.