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India calling for web censoring

India calling for web censoring

The Indian government wants social networks to aid it in censoring its citizens, preventing them from posting derogatory comments about the leaders of the country. Good luck with that.

Communications minister Kapil Sibal made this request to higher ups at Facebook, Google, Youtube and Yahoo (Yahoo?) in a meeting on Monday, asking them to step in and develop some system to limit what those on the sites could say.

Sibal went on to show photoshopped images of India’s prime minster – presumably in an unflattering manner – saying that he wanted to have the images taken down and further postings of them to be stopped. This isn’t censorship he said, this is “check” of online content.

Facebook released a non-committal statement, toeing the line of company’s policy: “We will remove any content that violates our terms, which are designed to keep material that is hateful, threatening, incites violence or contains nudity off the service.”

When asked what his solution for the problem would be, Sibal said that he didn’t believe anyone wanted to see these sort of images – completely disregarding that if these images are widely distributed and created, then chances are they are popular?

“I suggested that these platforms should evolve a mechanism on their own to ensure that such contents are removed as soon as they get to know of it… I have told them that this cannot go on,” he said.

“I believe that no reasonable person, aware of the sensibilities of a large section of the communities in this country, would wish to see this in the public domain… This government does not believe in either directly or indirectly interfering in the freedom of the press.”

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