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Social media is a way through which people stay in touch with each other and interact with friends, families and different communities. Different websites and applications that focus on interacting and communicating worldwide, community-based input, content-sharing and collaborations and many more things are collectively known as social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.[1] Information propagation is greatly aided by the media because it directly affects the audience. It draws its freedom from Article 19 (1)(a), which states that only reasonable restrictions may be placed on the right to free speech and expression.

DEFINITION OF DEFAMATION: – The act of spreading untrue and false statements about someone that harms the reputation of that person is known as the act of defamation.

ONLINE DEFAMATION: – Online defamation is also referred to as cyber defamation which is when someone is falsely accused of something online. Remarks made on the internet or through social media – such as through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc include a written word or any post and it is considered Libel. Without any doubt social media and the internet are amazing and are very beneficial for an individual as well as for society as a whole it is very helpful in terms of the development and advancement of individual and for the whole country as well but as stated by everyone everything has both pros and cons, we need to keep in mind both the sides. However, they can serve as a particularly fertile field for potentially defamatory utterances.

Many people have realised how easy it is for people to express their opinions on the internet. There are a lot of intriguing sites on the net where people unintentionally or purposely publish or leave comments that could be constructed as defamatory. For instance, public comments on media websites such as comments on Facebook, and Instagram, etc posts, newspaper letters to the editor, and remarks on WhatsApp chat groups. Although some websites screen comments for obscene or unlawful content, the screening is not intended to hunt for offensive material in every comment, which is why many defamatory statements make it via the internet.


Section 499, Indian Penal Code[2]: – According to this section anyone who makes or publishes any false accusation or anything untrue or false with intent to harm the person’s reputation for being aware or suspecting that such a charge will damage that person’s reputation, except in the cases predicted in the years to come, is said to be a defamatory action.

Section 500, Indian Penal Code[3]: – Any person who violates Section 499 or finds violating it will be charged under this Section i.e., Section 500. Punishment is mentioned in this Section the culprit will be imprisoned for either two years, a fine, or both.

Section 469, Indian Penal Code[4]: – This Section addresses fraud, which is when someone produces a phoney document or a fake account to ruin someone’s reputation. This offence carries a fine and a maximum jail term of three years.[5]

Section 66A, Information Technology Act, 2000[6]: – In the year 2015, the Supreme Court invalidated this law. This Law covers the penalties for sending “offensive” messages on a laptop, cellular device or tablet as outlined in this section. The government began using the word “offensive” as a tool to stifle free expression since it could not make clear where it stood on the issue. The entire clause was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2015.


Kalandi Charan Lenka vs. State of Odisha[7]: – In this instant, the petitioner experienced ongoing stalking; the offender later made a false account for her and sent vulgar messages to the victims’ acquaintances. The victim’s hostel also had a photo of a morphing neck hanging on the wall. The court determined that the perpetrator had committed the offence.

Rajiv Dinesh Gadkari through P.A. Depamala Gadkari vs Smt. Nilangi Rajiv Gadkari 16/10/2009[8]: – In this case, the respondent filed a lawsuit against her spouse for intimidating her repeatedly by publishing offensive photos and slandering her after getting a divorce letter from him. The offence has been reported earlier, and the wife (respondent) has asked for maintenance in the amount of Rs.75000 per month.


As internet usage has increased, more individuals are using it to express their opinions on a variety of subjects and challenges. The usage of social media has revolutionised society worldwide, not just in India. These platforms are being used by politicians to connect with the public. These are being used by celebrities to communicate with their supporters and well-wishers.[9]

In the contemporary age, when there are no distinctions made based on anything, People now have a platform to voice their ideas thanks to the internet, participate in discussions, and give reviews of things like people, films, music, and even products. Although this site has introduced us to perceptive and knowledgeable people, it has also introduced us to cyberterrorists, therefore we have to be careful about whatever we post online. Indian Penal Code claims that posting derogatory statements is a crime that could result in prison time.

Author’s Name: Nikita Chauhan

[1] What is social media? (2021, September 3).

[2] Section 499 IPC

[3] Section 500 IPC

[4] Section 469 IPC

[5] Aarshi0597. (n.d.). Social media and online defamation.

[6]Section 66A IPC

[7] Kalandi Charan Lenka vs. State of Odisha (AIR 2016, SC 7596)

[8] Rajiv Dinesh Gadkari through P.A. Depamala Gadkari vs Smt. Nilangi Rajiv Gadkari (AIR 2009, SC Family Court Appeal no.67)

[9] Aarshi0597. (n.d.). Social media and online defamation.

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