Karnataka High Court Urges Centre to Reconsider Content Takedown Orders


The Karnataka High Court has expressed its displeasure with the Indian government's handling of content takedown orders, suggesting that it could have avoided "unnecessary publicity" if it had reconsidered its stance and issued reasonable orders in the X (formerly Twitter) content removal case. The court made this observation during the hearing of an appeal filed by X Corporation against government orders that called for the blocking of specific accounts and tweets.

X Corporation's counsel, Sajan Poovayya, pointed out that the takedown orders appeared to lack sufficient reasons. In response, Justice G. Narendar opined that making an "in-house" decision would not attract unwarranted publicity and suggested that the dispute could have been amicably resolved outside of the courts.

The case revolves around content takedown orders issued by the Indian government in 2021 and 2022, targeting certain accounts and tweets on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. X Corporation, the platform's parent company, has appealed these orders, arguing that they lack justification.

One of the key issues raised during the proceedings is the need for the government to provide reasons for the content removal orders. Counsel for X Corporation sought directions from the court to compel the Centre to furnish reasons for these orders, highlighting that the prima facie absence of reasons raised concerns.

The Karnataka High Court's observations suggest that it encourages parties involved to resolve disputes amicably before resorting to legal action. The court's remarks also underscore the importance of transparency and accountability in content removal orders issued by the government. The outcome of this case could have broader implications for the regulation of online content and government actions in India.

As the case continues, it will be closely watched by legal experts, technology companies, and stakeholders interested in issues related to freedom of expression, content moderation, and government regulation in the digital age.



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