ISSN (O) : 2584-1378


AUTHOR’S NAME : Jaishree Sharma
UNIVERSITY - Rajasthan University



Social media has become an essential element of everyday life in the current technological era, particularly for the younger generation, who utilise it as their main platform for expressing their ideas, thoughts, and opinions. Social news, blogs, vlogs, and other information are now easily accessible to consumers on a number of social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. By allowing users to communicate information, including text, music, and photographs, regardless of geographic location, these platforms promote social connectedness. Despite all of social media’s advantages, worries about security and privacy still exist. The spread of erroneous or fraudulent information on social media may have a negative effect on society, which emphasises how critical it is to solve these problems. People may now communicate with one other regardless of their origins or professional interests thanks to the growth of social media. Additionally, it now serves as a venue for online fraud. For this reason, it’s critical that the government possess the resources needed to safeguard our information’s privacy.


Social media rules must be put into place due to the increase in crimes involving social media. These laws target forbidden content and provide both criminal and civil remedies. Cybercrimes and other challenges in the digital sphere are addressed by a number of legal frameworks, including the Communication Decency Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Social media’s anonymity and abundance of false information have contributed to an upsurge in online violence that affects users of all ages. Strong social media regulations are necessary to reduce crimes connected to social media, such as stalking, harassment, bullying, and threats. Strong social media regulations are desperately needed, as seen by the riots that broke out in many Indian states as a result of the spread of false news videos on Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp.


  • An efficient grievance redressal procedure is necessary to handle complaints about content posted by others on social media. The following phases are part of the organised process that this mechanism uses to function:
  • The content publisher receives the complaint from the complainant and has 15 days to react and notify the complainant of their decision.
  • If the publisher does not provide a response within the allotted time, the matter is referred to a self-regulatory body of which the publisher must be a member. In the event that the complainant is still not satisfied with the publisher’s decision, they have 15 days to file an appeal with the self-regulatory body.
  • After reviewing the grievance, the self-regulatory organisation notifies the publication of its judgement, providing advice or direction, and notifies the complaint within a 15-day period.
  • Within 15 days of the judgement, the complaint has the option to appeal to the Oversight Mechanism if they are still unhappy with the self-regulatory body’s ruling.


Indian legislation, such as the Indian Penal Code, the Information Technology Act, and the Indian Constitution, offer a variety of remedies for problems relating to social media:

  • Information Technology Act: This main Indian legislation addresses cybercrime and e-commerce. It establishes penalties for fraud and other computer-related offences and gives legal legitimacy to digital signatures and electronic transactions. The “Information Technology Act of 2000” of India governs social media legislation in that nation. This law classifies social media as an intermediary and imposes legal responsibility on it for a range of actions and inactions that fall under the purview of Indian legislation. Interestingly, the IT Act’s Section 66A regulates material uploaded on social networking sites. It forbids sending offensive text, audio, or video communications. It also forbids forwarding emails that are meant to offend, irritate, or hurt other people. Such acts are frequently driven by the desire to sow discord and disseminate misleading information.The right to free expression was upheld in 2015 when the Supreme Court of India ruled in the landmark case of “ShreyaSinghal v. Union of India” that Section 66A of the Information Technology Act was unconstitutional. Although the public and legal experts welcomed the Act, the court acknowledged that Indian people’ freedom of speech was restricted by its ambiguous and open-ended language.
  • Constitution of India: It protects the freedom of speech and expression, enabling people to speak out against injustices or wrongdoing. Every Indian citizen has the basic right to freedom of expression, which was established by the Indian constitution in 1950. It’s crucial to remember that this right is not unqualified and that it may be restricted by the government for the benefit of the people or the country. The Indian constitution provides its inhabitants with a number of rights, including the protection of their interests and the right to life and liberty. Although freedom of the press and media is not specifically mentioned in the constitution, it is implied by Article 19, which guarantees the right to freedom of speech.A free press is essential for political liberty because it enables individuals to openly express their opinions, as Dr.Ambedkar said. According to him, a society can only be deemed free if the right to free speech is respected.
  • Indian Penal Code: A wide range of illegal behaviours, including those connected to social media, are included by India’s official penal code, including sedition, inciting public irritation, defamation, and threatening others. Moreover, offences pertaining to social media are covered under a number of sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 153A, 295A, 499, 505, 506, 509, and 124A. The IPC’s rules on penalty apply to violations of these statutes. For example, Section 153A addresses the incitement of hatred between various groups, whereas Section 295A makes it illegal to disparage religion or religious beliefs. It is also illegal to distribute false or defamatory comments according to Section 505 of the Act. With Sections 506 and 505 of the Act particularly targeting the intimidation of persons through social media, these legislative measures are intended to protect individuals from online harassment. This implies that anyone who knowingly harm another person’s reputation by words they post may be held accountable under these statutes. In “ArnabManoranjanGoswami v. The State of Maharashtra”, journalist ArnabGoswami—a media network employee—was sued for defamation after he criticised a Congressman for remarks he made about COVID-19 testing procedures and a Palghar incident. He justified his remarks by claiming that they were unlikely to spark any violent acts and that they did not encourage racial or social turmoil.


It is required of social media intermediaries to advise its users not to post or distribute anything that violates intellectual property rights, is offensive or defamatory, or belongs to other parties. Avoid engaging in any activity that jeopardises India’s security, defence, unity, integrity, or sovereignty since it might damage diplomatic ties with other countries.


The Supreme Court of India declared Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 to be unconstitutional in the case of “ShreyaSinghal v. Union of India”. People had been arrested under this clause for making remarks on social media.


In our technology-driven world, the threat of cybercrime is ever-present. While numerous laws exist to protect victims of cybercrimes and social media-related issues, the need for new legislation remains. Governments should consider introducing measures like the Right to be Forgotten, as seen in some European countries, and take strict actions against wrongdoers to mitigate the consequences of cybercrimes. Social media laws play a pivotal role in maintaining a safe and responsible digital environment for all users.


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