Censor on social networking sites. What! Did you get startled on hearing this bit like me? Then I observed that I’m not the only one. This news piece has invoked almost all Indian users on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. How can I air such a prediction? Well, it’s the huge scores of status updates, tweets, blogs links etc. that are a mirror of general disgust expressed by millions of social media users to such an imprudent suggestion from an honorable minister of the Government of India.
In fact, this kindles a thought in me. How far can this government go on committing blunders? Overlooking 2G scam, CWG scam, maddening price rise, sabotaging Ramdev’s protest and exercising all tyrannical methods to curb the voice, followed by putting down Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement and then attacks on Team Anna’s members..And the list continues.
Now, the biggest blunder of coming up with the daffy idea of censoring user content on social networking websites. Rather, sealing our lips or smashing our fundamental right of expression. I’m surprised that how could the so-called Gandhian minister, who at even the slightest of incitement starts blabbering the articles and clauses of our Constitution, forget to shuffle the page of ‘Fundamental Rights’ while he was cramming each page of Constitution with a magnifying glass in his hand.
While this suggestion has been shunned from the scratch by Big Daddies (like Google, Facebook) on the web landscape, it has staged a big interrogation mark on the intelligence set up of the government leading the nation. It’s sick that on one hand, we shout about being the largest democratic nation of the world and then one of the most reputed ministers tables his insane idea and whim of choking our necks so that we can’t voice our opinions in public on these sites.
To add to this, he’s beating the drums hard that machine/technology-driven screening of user content be replaced with manual monitoring of pages for reproachful, provocative or derogatory content. I guess the so-called minister, who is in the habit of commenting on all technological innovations and discoveries and bask in the glory of possessing the most tech-savvy brain among all, who walk into the Parliament does not have an account on Facebook. Or even if he has, might not be able to be active there by virtue of his busy schedule. Because if he was really aware of the humongous user base of Facebook in India, he would not have voiced this silly suggestion.
The latest news that I saw this morning that Google has slammed the idea by commenting that they’re on a rigorous spree of screening the content. So, any expression that abides by the law won’t be removed just because it’s inflammatory. More so, it’s vague to decide what is or is not profane or derogatory.
It’s great to see such tepid response from all segments – social networking sites, business communities, individual users – to an inane idea of censoring user content on social networking websites.