Breaking News Delhi High Court to hear advocate's plea challenging the...

Delhi High Court to hear advocate’s plea challenging the suspension of his Twitter account

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New Delhi, Nov 8 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today allowed an early hearing on a petition filed by senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, challenging the suspension of his Twitter account.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli allowed the early listing, as the same was not opposed by Advocate Saransh Jain appearing on behalf of Twitter. The matter has been listed for further hearing on January 10, 2021. 

On October 26, 2019, Twitter suspended the account of senior advocate Sanjay Hegde for putting up the famous photo of August Landmesser refusing to do the Nazi salute in a sea of a crowd in the Blohm Voss shipyard which as per him has been for long been his cover picture.

Despite the picture being around for decades, according to the social media platform, the image violated Twitter’s ‘hateful imagery’ guidelines. Twitter briefly revoked the suspension following a massive virtual uproar in Hegde’s favour but promptly re-suspended Hegde’s account again.

Social media platforms, owing to the enormous concentration of power and opaque moderating policies, have become the gatekeepers of online speech to a large extent. If such power is left unchecked, then, as Hegde’s request demonstrates, a citizen’s free speech rights are meaningless. 

The petition also states that arbitrary ‘take-downs or suspensions, by social media accounts, have a chilling effect on free speech. 

The petition strongly contends that Twitter serves as a medium for citizens including the Petitioner to communicate their grievances and concerns with elected officials and government representatives. It serves as the “marketplace of ideas”. /ILNS/KR/SNG/

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