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The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice in a PIL filed by two law students seeking for age-based control of access to social media and for the development of a profile verification mechanism to eliminate illicit content on social media.

The bench comprising of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian sought a response from the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Department in a PIL filed by two law students seeking action against those social media accounts which are involved in the online trade of illicit content, such as engaging in obscene content and online harassment videos.

The petitioners, Skand Bajpai and Abhyudaya Mishra – law students of New Law College, Bharathi Vidyapeeth Deemed University in Pune, requested the court to enact gender-neutral laws in order to curtail the morphing of pictures and videos, as well as revenge porn, and for the criminalization of impersonation so as to protect an individual’s identity.

The petitioners contended that they were compelled to file the petition when they did not receive a satisfactory response to their complaint pertaining to illicit content on social media made to the Government on 9th June. They further claimed that the multiplicity of accounts and unverified identities facilitated anonymity, making it easier for unscrupulous elements to upload illicit and graphic personal information on social media.

Therefore, the PIL prays for legal proceedings to be instituted against those users who indulge in advertising, sale, and procurement of illicit content and private graphic information. Further, it states that an effective mechanism should be formulated for such content to be deleted and not be uploaded in the future.

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