India’s Information Technology Minister, Kapil Sibal has confirmed that India will not censor social media websites.
In exact words of Mr. Sibal, “Once and for all, without any obfuscation, no government in India will ever censor social media”. While he has clearly allowed the companies to operate in peace knowing that they won’t be threatened for something that their users upload.
The battle for the “Objectionable Material” had been raging since last year. The answer, Govt. felt was to hire humans to censor the content even before it went online. But, the companies retaliated by saying that Billions of its users are uploading content simultaneously. There is no way, all of it can be pre-screened.
So, how did Mr. Sibal pacify & softened his stand? We assume, he must have finally understood the actual dilemma of the Social Networking & Search Indexing sites that these sites have such a large user database that you simply cannot monitor all of them. One of the clearest arguments was put up by Google India’s Lawyer, Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, “We cannot control billion minds. Some are conservative, some are liberal and some write all the defamatory and obnoxious articles on web pages. There is a procedure for getting them removed”.
Our law states that the material, if found objectionable, be removed within 36 hours. While we feel even this time frame is minuscule, it takes mere seconds for any news to go viral. We think, the Govt. & the Internet giants will have to come up with some fast-acting strategy to eradicate the posts or photos.
Do you think this is a positive step or it was all just a cheap stunt to gain publicity?