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Insulting SC/ST Online Is Now A Punishable Offence

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The Delhi High Court, on July 3, 2017, ruled that any slur made against SC/ST, even in closed groups, will now be punishable. Though the judgement came into reference with Facebook, the ruling can also be extended to other social media platforms like Whatsapp, Hike.

When a member registered with Facebook changes the privacy settings to ‘public’ from ‘private’, it makes his/her writings on the ‘wall’ accessible not only to the other members who are befriended by the author of the writings on the “wall”, but also by any other member registered with Facebook. However, even if privacy settings are retained by a Facebook member as “private”, making of an offending post by the member – which falls foul of Section under Section 3(1)(x) of the SC/ST Act‚Äîmay still be punishable,” noted Justice Vipin Sanghi.

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The court’s judgement came while hearing a complaint by an SC woman against her Rajput co-sister. The complainant claimed that a humiliating post has been put out¬†against her (dhobi) community on Facebook by her co-sister.

Facebook and Twitter are already taking measures to prevent any kind of abuse or hate speech on their platform. In past two months, Facebook has removed 66,000 posts on average per week identified as hate speech,reported company.

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