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Four Arrested For Derogatory Facebook Remarks: Know Your Limitations Online

Facebook remarks made by four people against Ambedkar and SCs/STs led to an FIR against them by the person who has been assaulted by these four. They have been arrested and charges against them involve Indian Penal Code, Constitution of India and IT Act. A simple comment on social media or post can land one in jail, let us see under what conditions such posts and comments are been criminalized.

For making derogatory remarks allegedly against B.R. Ambedkar on Facebook and assaulting a Dalit youth in Reoti area of Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, an FIR has been registered against four people, as per the police report on Monday.

The FIR was lodged under the SCs/STc (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, IT Act and IPC by Shiv Prakash Paswan, who was assaulted by the four - Durgesh Pandey, Ankesh Pandey, Ritesh and Tej Narayan, as told by Superintendent of Police, Sriparna Gongulee.

A mere comment on Facebook can land one in jail, let us see how derogatory comments are made against policy and criminalized. They are as follows:

  • The Indian Penal Code, though it exists since the time internet did not come in market, but some derogatory posts are categorized under the ‘hate speech’ and are been criminalized under sec. 153A, 295A anad 505. It punishes any malicious act in written or spoken form intending to outrage religious feelings or any class, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc. or circulating any statement, rumour and report against any community committing any crime against other community.
  • Sec. 499 and 500 of Indian Penal Code are the provisions for defamation. It also take the social media messages and posts under its ambit.
  • Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India though talks about freedom of speech and expression, but that is subject to certain limitation. It must not be hurting anyone’s sentiment, or of any community or defame a person or community. 
  • Previously there was sec.66A of the IT Act, which has been held unconstitutional by the Apex Court, but the IT Act can still invoke appropriate provision in such cases pf defamatory posts, comments and messages to one.
  • Facebook’s community standard says that those contents that attacks people based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexualorientation, gender etc. are considered as hate speech. Facebook does not allow those.
  • Twitter hold the policy which prohibits the promotion of hate content, sensitive topics and violence globally.

To know more about your social media rights, consult the cyber lawyers through MyAdvo, download MyAdvo App on your phone.


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Reviewed by:
Rashmita Das
Published on 09-Apr-18