Keynote lecture by Mr. Shyam Divan on Platform Governance
The Keynote Lecture by Senior Advocate Shyam Divan was organized as a part of the 7th edition of the Annual International Summer School 2023 on Platform Governance. The lecture was attended by the summer school participants and faculty from Germany, Brazil and India, policy researchers, independent policy professionals, industry representatives, academics, and members of civil society organizations.
The lecture focused on recent developments in Indian constitutional doctrine that may impact the regulation of online platforms, including the extension of free speech protections against private entities, the challenges with ascertaining truth in litigation centered around technological issues, and the recent amendment requiring platforms to remove content that has been fact-checked by the Indian Government’s Press Information Bureau. Mr. Shyam Divan explored the recent Supreme Court decision in Kaushal Kishore v State of Uttar Pradesh that opined that free speech rights can be exercised against private entities, and analysed the implications this may have when applied to private online platforms.
Mr. Divan also focussed on the issue of surveillance and its implications for freedom of speech and expression. This portion of the Lecture highlighted different avenues of ascertaining the “truth” in such cases, through adversarial litigation, court appointed investigatory committees, and legislative oversight. Continuing with the theme of “truth”, Mr. Divan discussed the potential impact to free speech stemming from India’s recent regulation which requires platforms to remove content if it has been fact-checked by the government Press Information Bureau.
The Keynote Lecture concluded with a fifteen minute interactive Q&A session with faculty and students who were participating in the Summer School and other members of the audience.
21 Mar 2023
India Habitat Centre