Aaradhya Bachchan Sues And Wins In Court
NEW DELHI – As the controversy of fake news on megastar Amitabh Bachchan‘s granddaughter’s ill health unfolds, the Delhi High Court restrained a number of YouTube channels from spreading or continuing to broadcast videos that make false claims regarding Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan’s daughter Aaradhya.
This is the first time an order protecting the rights of a celebrity child who is a minor has been delivered.
The 11-year-old had moved the Delhi High Court against a YouTube tabloid and sought an injunction against such reporting by the media about her as she is a minor. The suit was filed by Abhishek Bachchan as Aaradhya’s father and natural guardian as well as a celebrity parent. The petition said there was breach of privacy, defamation, and infringement of personality rights. The petition asked 10 entities to “de-list and deactivate all videos” about her.
In the hearing, Justice C. Hari Shankar said, “every child is to be treated with honor and respect be it a child of a celebrity or a commoner.” He also said dissemination of misleading information about a child especially as regards the physical and mental health was completely intolerable.
Aaradhya has encountered trolls frequently for a variety of reasons. When the 2021 film ‘Bob Biswas‘ was being promoted, enraged father Abhishek retaliated against the haters who were continuously harassing his daughter.
The channels in question had nearly 33 lakh subscribers and their videos, almost all of which were found to be fake, were watched over 30 crore times.
The YouTube channels use fake and sensationalist thumbnails to mislead viewers into believing that the content is authentic. Some channels also display advertisements on their videos, monetizing misinformation on YouTube.
Aaradhya’s case raises an eyebrow on YouTube’s responsibility and action against such content.
During the hearing, the court further remarked that the platform cannot get away by saying that it is merely an intermediary and not putting up such videos. It said that YouTube should have a policy in place to tackle such videos. “You have responsibility to see that proper information is disseminated. Why don’t you have a policy in matters like this,” the judge asked.
The Bachchan family said that they came across multiple videos on YouTube claiming that Aaradhya was seriously ill and had been admitted to the hospital.
Even that she had passed away was said in one of the videos.
The videos further claimed that the Bachchans did nothing to get the child immediate medical care, they contended.
However, Aaradhya is in good health and has not been hospitalised, according to the plaint, which was filed.
Representing Aaradhya, Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan referred to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules which provide for due diligence by the intermediaries with regard to content which is harmful to a child.