New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday rejected a plea seeking direction to link social media accounts with Aadhaar to control fake news. Delivering its order, the high court said that the information related to the 80 per cent genuine users cannot be passed on to foreign companies even if 20 per cent social media accounts are bogus.
The plea was moved in the Delhi High Court in October seeking direction to the Centre to take appropriate steps to link social media accounts with Aadhaar, PAN, voter ID card or any other identification proof to weed out fake and duplicate accounts and to control fake and paid news which may affect the election process.
The plea, filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, also sought direction to the central government to declare that the publication of 'paid news' and political advertisements during the last 48 hours before polls is a "corrupt practice" under Section 123(4) in The Representation of the People Act, 1951.
"The publication of fake news involves the use of black money, under-reporting of election expenses of political parties and candidates and indulging in other kinds of malpractices. The influence of black money also has the potential to result in an imbalanced election between people of different financial statures," the plea claimed.
"Thus, in order to have free and fair elections, which is a basic dictum of democracy, level playing field is paramount and this cannot be achieved without mitigating the instances of fake news," the petition said.
Upadhyay, through his plea, sought Centre's direction to take appropriate steps for deactivation of fake, duplicate and ghost social media accounts.
"These fake Twitter handles and bogus Facebook accounts use the real photos of the constitutional authorities and eminent people," it added.