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Centre should set minimum age to access social media, Karnataka High Court opines

The Karnataka High Court has said that the Centre should consider putting an age limit on the use of social media in the country. While hearing a plea by Twitter, the high court said it would be a boon if the government introduced such a rule. 

Centre should set minimum age to access social media Karnataka High Court opines gcw
First Published Sep 20, 2023, 9:19 AM IST

The Karnataka High Court stated on Tuesday that the central government should think about setting an age restriction on the usage of social media across the nation. The judge stated orally that individuals need be "at least 21" to use social media. 

A division bench comprising Justice G Narendar and Justice Vijayakumar A Patil also observed that the user age should be at least 21 or at least 18 years when they get the right to vote.

A two-judge bench was hearing X Corp's (formerly Twitter) appeal against the dismissal of its challenge to the Centre's order to block certain social media accounts and tweets. Earlier, the court had rejected the social media company's argument against the central government and fined it Rs. 50 lakh for disobeying instructions. Towards the end of the hearing, the bench mentioned that imposing an age limit on social media usage would be a boon.

The court stated that outright banning social media would be the "best option" since "a lot of good will come" from it. "Today's school-age kids are so dependent on social media. I believe there should be an age restriction, similar to the Excise rules," it continued.

The matter came up when the central government's counsel told the court that the law now requires a user to have Aadhaar and other documents before they can access certain online games. The court then asked why such identification was not being extended to social media as well.

Meanwhile, the bench indicated that it would pass orders on Wednesday on two interlocutory applications (IA) filed by the X Corp, including the one seeking for adding additional grounds.

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