The Supreme Court on Friday turned down a plea by Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala seeking the blocking of social networking sites like Facebook and WhatsApp over the circulation of offensive content on such platforms, The Times of India reported.
It however asked the Centre to examine whether social media sites can be prosecuted for failing to regulate such content.
Two cases were brought to the notice of social justice bench of justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit, the report states. While people were booked for circulating a rape video on WhatsApp and for running a sex racket for paedophiles on Facebook, no action was taken against the platforms which were used to post and share the content.
The government had earlier told the court that it was difficult to keep a check on the circulation of offensive content on social media and nap culprits, all the more if they used mobile phones instead of computers to post the material. Prajwala had approached the bench seeking action against the social networking sites and also said that they should be blocked.
Dismissing the plea, the bench said, "You are now asking for blocking of sites. You may later ask for banning mobile phones. It is not a solution and it cannot be done."
"Let the government first respond to the issue and then we will consider," it added according to the report.