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Take Consent Before Sharing Other People’s Videos On Social Media For ‘Virality’!

The next time you post anything on social media, be it sweet or hilarious or anything else, remember to take permission, because when we respect privacy of others, ours is also protected.

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A couple of weeks back, I had watched the video of the candid moments of an old couple on one of the social media platforms. The video was recorded on the metro-rail and posted by someone with a tagline ‘This sweet video made my day’ and hash-tagged ‘viralvideo.’ The video showed the elderly couple trying to capture the perfect selfie.

I came across another video which was shared and reshared with various tags such as ‘what not to do in marriage,’ ‘happy marriage’ ‘drunk at wedding.’ This video showed a completely tipsy man in a marriage party. He was so heavily intoxicated that he was hardly able to hold the food plate steady and finally rolled down under one of the tables to the ‘hilarious delight’ of the people recording this video.

The common factor in both the videos is ‘absence of consent.’

Consent is the most crucial peg. Without it, a seemingly ordinary sexual intercourse becomes rape, a valid contract becomes void-ab-initio, even a doctor’s examination of a patient becomes an act against the code of medical ethics and conduct.

Why then, on such a large scale, everyday we flout these norms. Technically speaking, one cannot post your videos without your consent. But there are two major issues in that – firstly, what is the quick recourse to the aggrieved person. Secondly, the clear definition of right to erasure or right to be forgotten is missing.

The right to privacy and right to be forgotten

I hope the pending Data Protection Bill 2022 is able to address these issues, and make the intermediaries accessible in procedural aspects of deletion of such data on the lines of General Data Protection Regulation of EU.

One may ask what is the need of this Right to be forgotten? Are we not violating the right to information and publicity. May be not yesterday, but today it is an urgent need when the internet revolution has blurred the barriers to publicity both consented and non-consented. This was rightly felt by the Courts, both Indian and foreign, in Google LLC vs CNIL, landmark Puttaswamy judgment, Jorward Mundy, Rout vs Odisha.

While the legal aspects shape and evolve through these Judicial interpretations and Data Act, it is also important to sensitize people about the importance of consent in our everyday dealing. This one essential is going to take care of lot many issues later. So next time you post anything on social media, be it sweet or hilarious, remember to take permission because when we respect privacy of others, ours is also protected.

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Image source: a still from the film Tumhari Sulu

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About the Author

Vartika Sharma Lekhak

Vartika Sharma Lekhak is a writer based in India. Author of the book- Bra Stap, and three anthologies – A Human Voice, When Women Speak Up, and The Take Off, she raises her voice on issues read more...

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