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Thursday, December 8, 2011

India Asked Web Giants To Censor The Internet

The Indian authorities asked several Internet giants, including Google, Microsoft, and Facebook to delete inflammatory and defamatory user content concerning politicians before it is posted on the Internet and people realize who they vote for.

Kapil Sibal, the country’s telecommunications minister, has asked top executives from the leading tech companies to discuss the problem. Apparently, he believes that the web is full of people that insult each other with defamatory posts, so it might be better if the web giants filtered everything.

Introducing censorship is expected by him to help people become friendlier, but the executives had to tell Sibal that his demand was impossible, especially taking into account the amount of user-generated content originating from India. They pointed out that there’s so much content coming out from the country that no-one can bear responsibility for determining what was or wasn’t defamatory or disparaging.

In fact, the only way to filter the web is if there is legislation or a court order on something particular, but now the firms can’t be in the business of deciding whether something is legitimate to publish. Nevertheless, during the recent meeting with Facebook, Sibal’s motives became obvious: he admitted that someone amongst the country’s huge population had put up a page maligning the Congress Party’s Sonia Gandhi as not appropriate for the job due to being married to murdered Rajiv Gandhi. Since it isn’t fair to say that he only received the job because his mother was assassinated, and it isn’t right to say that his mother Indira also got the job thanks to taking the married name of an assassinated Indian saint, it is also wrong to claim that there’s any nepotism in the Congress party.

The local media points out that Sibal claimed it was unacceptable to say anything bad about Rajiv Gandhi’s missus and it should have been obvious to anyone that slagging off politicians online should be illegal. Apparently, he believes that politicians should be treated like gods among the citizens and it is up to the web giants to help them do so. Kapil Sibal explained that he expected the companies to introduce some screening system, with the developers looking for what he believes objectionable material and removing it before publishing.


  1. The Indian ministers seem to be spending their valuable time in unnecessary things. Much needs to be done on the communication area in the country. Internet speeds are pathetic and unreliable. The whole central ministry is in deep shit with corruption and scandals.

    Instead of trying to solve existing problems, these corrupt leaders want to impose morals on the citizens. Mr.Sibal is supposed to be a learned member from the school of law, but he does not seem to have read the Constitution of India yet.

    I wish the government spends its time and resources in solving the problems of its people, before the citizens decide to drive them out with sticks.

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