Home » News » Fine Line Between Freedom of Speech and Social Media Trial: Rapper MC Kode Missing

An eminent name in the capital’s underground hip-hop circuit and one of the founders of Spit Dope Inc, MC Kode aka Aditya Tiwari has been missing since June 1 after he was brutally trolled on all the social media platforms over an old video in which he can be seen uttering filthy abuses and indulging in blatant Hinduphobia.

The mother of a 22-year old, Deepa Tiwari filed a complaint on Saturday. On Sunday, she appealed to her son to return back, “Aditya your mother will also die with you, please come back, all are with you and we will solve all problems. Every day is a new day, please come back we are waiting for you.”

Following the complaint, Delhi police have traced his last location in Noida on May 25 after which his phone was switched off. He last shared an Instagram story hinting at taking his own life.

Last week, a 2016 rap battle video of MC Kode surfaced on the internet in which he made various Hinduphobic and rape remarks. After the video went viral, he started getting death threats and abusive messages. Following the death threats and cyberbullying, Aditya apologized and deleted all his songs from streaming and YouTube.

“I’ve angered a lot of people and that anger is understood and I deeply regret my actions…Currently all my details have been leaked including my address and there is a mass movement of people calling for a mob lynch of me and my family…Also local goons have placed a price on my head too. I am deeply sorry and I request you to please forgive me and spare me and the people associated to me their life,” Kode shared on his Instagram handle.

When cyberbullying crossed the limits, he posted a suicide note on his Instagram story.

“The constant suffering & trials and tribulations of life have made me weak. I hoped for it to end one day and be at peace. Currently standing at an isolated bridge overlooking the Yamuna river where I could see the waves answering my distress call while giving me much needed perspective.

I could only ask for your forgiveness as my selfish actions will definitely cause a great amount of grief but I need you to realise this it comes at the cost of me being finally at peace and safeguarding the people around me.

Please don’t bother the people associated with me, give them time to grief. I do not blame anyone for anything but myself. A relief from my own existence is gonna serve as a punishment that the entire country wanted.
Thank you”

What is Social Media Trial?

Social media trial is where the media start acting as a judge, jury, and executioner without any proof. Reincarnated as the public court, the media start digging the information and presenting it before the public. Social media is an extremely powerful medium to affect and mold public opinion. Unfortunately, sometimes, the circulating information on social media draws the judge’s attention to details that are not to be addressed in adjudicating the case and could subconsciously influence the judge’s judgment and lead to a biased judgment.

During this social media trial, the ‘reincarnated public court’ often fails to identify the vital gap between an accused and a convict keeping at stake the golden principles of ‘presumption of innocence until proven guilty’ and ‘guilt beyond reasonable doubt’.

Freedom of Speech vs Right to Privacy

The social media trial can be considered as an intrusion and an ethical breach. Abuse of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution (Freedom of Speech and Expression) is undermining the significance of Article 21 (Right to Privacy).

Article 19(1)(2) of the Indian constitution has contoured this right by listing grounds of restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression for the purpose of Contempt of Court. As per the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, “No publication, which is calculated to poison the minds of jurors, intimidate witnesses or parties or to create an atmosphere in which the administration of justice would be difficult or impossible, amounts to contempt.”

Famous Cases to Ascertain Media Trial Impact on Society and Judiciary

Sushant Singh Rajput Death Case: SSR’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty had been in the spotlight over the death of the Bollywood actor in mysterious circumstances. During her media trial, she got many names like “gold digger”, “vishkanya”, “witch” and the media also assassinated her character.

Jasleen Kaur vs Saravjeet Singh: Sexual harassment allegations through a Facebook post by Jasleen Kaur became the reason behind the mental and physical agony of Saravjeet Singh. He got titles like ‘pervert’ and ‘Delhi ka Darinda’. However, he was acquitted of all the charges after four years.

Other Cases Including Media Trial

Priya Ramani vs MJ Akbar case
Aarushi Talwar murder case
Jessica Lal Case
Priyadarshini Matto Case
Dr Anoop Krishna Suicide Case
Sheena Bohra Murder Case
Sunanda Pushkar Murder Case
Sanjay Dutt Case

On February 25, 2021, the Indian government introduced Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 which aimed at increasing the accountability for intermediaries and regulating the publication and transmission of online content.

Here is the link you can follow to read about the guidelines-

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