No control on web content: FB India tells SC

No control on web content: FB India tells SC
Facebook India has no control over content posted on it by users here, the social media site has told the Supreme Court.

Indian users enter into an agreement with the company’s Ireland unit when they register, and the Facebook office in India can’t take responsibility for their posts, it explained.

Based in Hyderabad, Facebook India says it does not operate or control the online platform in any form. Facebook is accessed by users from computers, tablets and mobile phones. Its role is confined to carrying out business in India and providing online and technical support, Facebook India told the court.

The social media network, which boasts of about 150 million Indian users, said its statement of rights and responsibilities makes it clear that the Facebook service is operated and hosted by Facebook Inc, a company incorporated and existing under the law of Delaware, USA and by Facebook Ireland Ltd with its principal place of business in Dublin. All its users outside the USA and Canada entered into agreement with Facebook Ireland while registering, so its Ireland company is the relevant data controller for Indian users.

Facebook was responding to the court's notice on a suo motu petition, based on a letter from NGO Prajwala, seeking blocking of videos depicting sexual violence. “Facebook India has no responsibility for any content allegedly appearing on the Facebook Services. It is, therefore, not a necessary or proper party for purposes of the petition,” it argued.

In order to fortify its stance, the company cited some decisions of the Delhi High Court that had allowed its plea for deletion of its name from the list of parties in a few petitions because Facebook India does not own or operate any server and is not responsible for hosting any content on its website.

The company claimed it has been incorrectly named as a party in the matter and a notice by the apex court has been “wrongly and inadvertently” issued to it.

Instead, only the proper entity, with its address in the Republic of Ireland, would have the knowledge necessary to address the concerns raised in the case, it said.

The apex court has no territorial jursidiction over an Ireland company but it can enforce its orders by seeking help from the Centre.
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