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Need to regulate vulgar language used on social media, OTT platforms: Delhi HC

Need to regulate vulgar language used on social media, OTT platforms: Delhi HC

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court urged the Ministry of Information and Technology to take a serious note of the use of vulgar language happening in public domain and social media as children are getting exposed to them.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma came down heavily on the language used in TVF web series “College Romance” terming it transgresses into obscenity as it does not pass ‘ moral decency community test’.

The court also urged for the enactment of appropriate law to regulate content on social media and OTT platforms, saying that ‘the situations which are fast emerging on a daily basis’ Live Law reported.

Calling for regulating the use of obscene words and foul language on social media when it ‘crosses a particular line’, the court said such language can be ‘ true threat’ to impressionable minds, and its use cannot receive constitutional protection of free speech.

The court also added that students can be punished for using profane speech in schools and offices authorities should regulate profanity.

Describing profanity a moral issue which society has to deal with by its own means, the court was quoted as saying “However, when the content is shown through social media, the sheer enormous power of electronic media and its reach to people of all ages will certainly invite attention of the Court, law enforcement and law making authorities to regulate it. One cannot lean in favour of unrestricted, unfettered freedom of profane, indecent and obscene speech and expression by way of web series without classification of the same.”

Justice Sharma observed that language used in the web series in question will appear ‘ naturally disgusting , dirty and sexual’ to many people.

“In Indian society, even today, swear words are not spoken in the presence of the elderly, at religious places, or in front of women or children,” court was quoted as saying.

Among other things, the court also said that media cannot be allowed to legitimize offensive language in the garb of change of language emerging with the passage of time.

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TAGS:social mediaOTT platformsvulgar language
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