In a significant observation, the High Court of Karnataka has recommended the implementation of an age limit for social media usage, akin to the legal age for consuming alcohol.
The suggestion came during a hearing involving an appeal by X Corp (formerly Twitter) challenging orders issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) related to blocking accounts, tweets, URLs, and hashtags.
The court expressed concerns about the addictive nature of social media platforms, particularly among school-going children, and questioned whether they possess the maturity to judge content’s impact on the nation. Justice G Narendar noted that an age limit, similar to Excise rules, could have positive outcomes.
Additionally, the court suggested that the government should consider age restrictions not only on social media but also on internet usage due to concerns about content’s corrupting influence. However, the court recognized the need for balanced regulations, particularly regarding national security.
The case also involves MeiTY’s failure to inform users about the blocking of their tweets and accounts, raising questions about transparency and defense rights. The court has imposed a cost of ₹50 lakh on X Corp, emphasizing that the government may need to adjust its rules to ensure fairness and accountability. The hearing will continue with a decision on interim relief and further appeals.