In a first of its kinds case, the Delhi High Court has issued a John Doe order to social media companies to take down posts that allege Kurkure has plastic. The verdict was issued on Thursday by the court, after American food and beverage maker, PepsiCo filed a civil suit earlier this year.
On June 1, 2018, the court issued an intern order directing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to block access to any posts, memes or otherwise, that says the corn puff snack Kurkure has plastic. This came after PepsiCo presented a list of 3,412 Facebook links, 20,244 Facebook posts, 242 YouTube videos, 6 Instagram links, and 562 tweets.
Pepsi's India company PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt Lt filed the suit in May 2018 alleging that the fake news damaged the brand's reputation. According to Medianama, which first reported the development, Pepsi has spent around Rs 2 core to dismiss the roomers and has asked the court for Rs. 2.1 crore in damages, due to what it calls "defamatory posts".
"Kurkure is an extremely loved brand and consumed by families across India. However, fake news suggesting that Kurkure has plastic in it has adversely effected the brand's reputation. Due to such fake and defamatory content circulating on the social media, PepsiCo India was constrained to move the Hon'ble Delhi High Court," a PepsiCo spokesperson said in a statement.
Pepsi has also begun working with platforms to ensure that they are complying with the court order to check the spread of "fake and defamatory content", the spokesperson added.
PepsiCo also sought the court's intervention in February, when videos of Lays emerged alleging that consumption of the popular chips would lead to death. After approaching the Delhi HC, the company managed to get all Facebook and YouTube links blocked that shared the videos.
Twitter meanwhile, was not amused by the ruling, with Kurkure trending shortly after the verdict was announced. Despite its claims, however, Kurkure's contribution to Pepsi's earnings have only been on the rise. While filing the petition, Pepsi said that Kurkure had earned Rs 601 crore in 2010, Rs 885 crore in 2013, and Rs 1159.3 crore until September of 2015, with sales increasing in the intermediary years as well.
Thank god for end to end encryption on whatsapp. I love the forwards which confirm that kurkure has plastics— Shabda Raaj (@shabda) July 26, 2018
Did you know: Plastic is made of Kurkure.— Aisi Taisi Democracy (@AisiTaisiDemo) July 26, 2018
Bollywood actresses have more plastic than kurkure— Alex Mercer (@AlexMer43616486) July 26, 2018