The UPA government's demand that global internet companies block some content from their sites has whipped up a controversy, with bloggers and tweeters complaining that it is a form of online censorship.
Some of the objectionable and offensive content on social networking sites has hurt people/communities. Surely, regulating such content need not trigger a Big Brother-versus-libertarian citizens standoff. The issue is both about the sanctity of free speech and the need to be sensitive to what one writes or airs on a site.
Many topics are discussed and exposed on social networking sites, leading to embarrassing situations in the day-to-day affairs of a society, country, and the world at large. If incendiary material is allowed to flow through social networking, both political stability and communal harmony will be in danger.
C. Petson Peter,
I would like to express my opposition to the sanitising campaign initiated by Minister Kapil Sibal. The UPA government, suffering from a paralysis of sorts, has picked up a random issue to create a sense of functioning. In the name of controlling hate speech and inflammatory content, it is trying to build boundaries in the global world of internet.
The content available on the internet, the opinions, and the inputs are a social reality. One man's sense can be another's nonsense but it does not mean people's views should be censored. Moreover, there are numerous ways to gain access to the material posted online. It is available on mirror sites or proxy pages. The tech-savvy, who want to make use of the internet to initiate unwanted events or incite violence, will always find a way out.
Let me clarify a few things. It is not censorship, it is screening of content that is objectionable and has the potential to hurt people's sentiments. The government's aim is to keep a check not on private accounts of users but on groups and pages that are equally accessible to all. To my ears and eyes, there is a ton of such objectionable content, which should be screened as soon as possible.
Shariq us Sabah,