Home HC orders to remove fake news, videos from social media

HC orders to remove fake news, videos from social media

The High Court today ordered the authorities concerned to remove six links of fake news, pictures and videos that are harmful for the image of the country, nation, intellectuals and important personalities, from YouTube and Facebook.

A High Court Division Bench consisting of Justice Md Khasruzzaman and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir passed the order today.

At the same time, the court issued a rule seeking to know why the inaction of the authorities to remove the provocative video that tarnishes the reputation of the country should not be declared illegal.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Facebook and YouTube authorities have been asked to comply with the order and to submit a report to the HC in two weeks.

On August 21, lawyer Arafat Hossain Khan sent a legal notice to the concerned parties on behalf of Supreme Court lawyer Nilufar Anjum and Dhaka Judge Court lawyer Md Ashraful Islam.

The notice was sent to- Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Secretary, Information and Communication Technology Secretary, Security Services Department Secretary, BTRC, Chairman of BTRC, Inspector General of Police, Director General of Digital Security Agency, YouTube LLC, Meta Platform, Inc. (Facebook), and Shabnaz Rashid, Head of Meta Platform (Facebook) Bangladesh.

The notice said that, online social media users, viewers and subscribers have increased in Bangladesh in the past few years in a large scale. But Facebook and YouTube have not implemented their supervisory mechanisms or controls over the contents in Bangladesh.

Due to the lack of policy, some people or channels are spreading fake news, pictures and videos from YouTube and Facebook inside and outside the country. And without any fact checking policy, they are damaging the image of the country, nation, intellectuals and important personalities.

This is a violation of sections- 64, and 97A of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001; sections- 8 and 25 of the Digital Security Act, 2020; section 46 of the Bangladesh ICT Act, 2006 and articles 27, 31 and 39 of the Constitution of Bangladesh, the notice said.

It has been asked to take necessary steps to immediately block and remove these links, monitor the activities of YouTube and Facebook.

It has been also asked to submit regular reports and verify all online news posts and video links as per the law to create a mechanism of accountability.

As the authorities concerned did not take any action in light of the notice, the petitioners' filed a writ.

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