New Delhi: The Supreme Court today criticized TV networks for their use of hate speech, stating that the “role of anchor” is “extremely essential.” Furthermore, it questioned why the government was “remaining a quiet spectator.”
At the hearing of a group of petitions submitted since last year, Justice KM Joseph stated, “These speeches on mainstream media or social media are unregulated. It’s (the anchors’) duty to see that hate speech doesn’t continue the moment someone does. Freedom of press is important… Ours is not as free as the US but we should know where to draw the line.”
The court elaborated on why viewers are drawn to hate speech, saying, “Hate speech is layered… Like killing someone, you may do it in different ways, slowly or otherwise. They keep us engaged based on particular convictions.”
Is this a small matter, it continued, “Government should not adopt an antagonistic posture but assist the court?”
The court asks the federal government to state whether it intends to implement the Law Commission’s recommendations to limit hate speech by November 23, when the matter will be heard again.
In response to a request from the Supreme Court, the Law Commission had delivered a report in 2017 that recommended particular legislation. The committee stated that while there is no legal definition of hate speech in India, certain laws have provisions that limit specific types of expression as an exception to the right to free speech. Additionally, it provided a draft bill that called for the “insertion of new provisions 153C (forbidding incitement to hatred) and 505A (creating fear, alarm, or provocation of violence in specific circumstances)”.
Comment on Late Night TV Arguments
TV shows, and late-night arguments in particular, sometimes have online video clips become viral. Because of this, internet businesses have come under fire for not doing enough to stop hate speech.
Google and Meta, the companies that run YouTube and Facebook among other platforms, declared they would take new measures to combat online extremism “by removing more violent content and promoting media literacy with young users” at a summit in the US earlier this month on combating hate-fueled violence.