Can social media firms be included as accused in criminal cases, asks court


PTI, Jan 21, 2022, 5:25 PM IST

Chennai: Following instances of misuse of social media platforms for committing crimes, including posting content like video tutorials on making guns and bombs, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court sought to know from the government and advocates if social media firms could be arraigned as accused/abettor in criminal cases.

Viewing the misuse of the social media platforms such as YouTube, the Bench orally observed as to why such platforms could not be added as accused/abettor.

Making the observations on Thursday while hearing a petition filed by the police to cancel the bail granted to A Duraimurugan Pandiyan ‘Saattai,’ a YouTuber, in a case filed against him for his alleged derogatory remarks against Chief Minister M K Stalin last year, Justice B Pugalendhi observed that when a person witnessing such videos commits an offense, then the social media platform is an abettor of the offense. He sought to know if the government has any sort of mechanism to prevent such misuse. He appointed advocate K K Ramakrishnan as amicus curiae to assist the court on the matter.

The judge further observed that in many instances, the accused confessed to having learned about making guns, committing robbery and other offenses from YouTube videos

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