HC restrains publication of misleading content on Aaradhya; directs Google to take down videos

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Aaradhya Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai | Photo: ANI

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday restrained several YouTube channels from publishing misleading content on the health of Aaradhya Bachchan, daughter of actors Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, saying spreading misinformation about a child reflects "morbid perversity".

The court, while dealing with a lawsuit by the minor child and her father, directed Google to take down from its platform certain videos which claimed that Aaradhya Bachchan was "critically ill" and "no more".

Justice C Hari Shankar said every child is entitled to be treated with honour and respect and dissemination of misleading information in respect of a child's health was "completely intolerable in law".

The court, in the interim order, asked Google to inform the plaintiff about the details of the uploaders in question and clarified that similar videos, whenever brought to Google's notice, shall also be taken down.

"Defendants 1 to 9 (YouTube channels) are completely restrained from publishing, sharing and disseminating any content on any public platform across the net relating the state of health or physical condition of the plaintiff," ordered the court.

"Defendant no 10 (Google) will immediately delist and deactivate all videos (mentioned in the plea," it said.

The court remarked that spreading misinformation about a child of tender age reflects "morbid perversity" and "complete apathy in the interests of the child".

The court further asked Google to file a response stating in detail its policy on dealing with such objectionable content on its YouTube platform in view of intermediary rules.

It also directed the Centre to block access to the content in question, and said Google was duty bound to follow the legal framework for intermediaries.


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