When I first heard Kapil Sibal's statement about censoring social networking websites, I took it really lightly. Not because I am not for freedom of speech but I am for it and as long as Kapil Sibal is only "saying" and not "doing" anything, we are better off letting some people just be.
But as the furore rises, it is important to make our reservations felt, just to ensure that the minister does not mistake our silence for acceptance. I am using an Indian Express article on this to ask KS a few questions
I suggested that these platforms should evolve a mechanism on their own to ensure that such content is removed as soon as they get to know of it... I have told them that this cannot go on
What content are you talking about? If I say "Screw the Government because it is not dealing with corruption", I am sure the government and its ministers are going to feel slighted. Which means I cannot say these things. Which means the government can just about do anything and I cannot do anything. I think the minister wants to teach us manners and confusing it with something else.
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
Totally agree Sir. I would not like to see discussions which say "Muslims are the cause of all problems in India". But do you think by stopping people of these opinions to post on social networking sites you are going to change their thinking or at the least stop them from talking about these issues. I don't think so. If you think a nation's thought process can evolve by censoring (sorry monitoring) what they say, I am sorry you are sadly mistaken.
This government does not believe in either directly or indirectly interfering in the freedom of the press
A non sequitur in this particular issue; why does Kapil Sibal think Facebook and Google constitute press. If he really wants to do something, let him first bring the TV news media under the press category and then start talking about Google and Facebook.
The same article says that India has more than 25 million Facebook users. Now I do know that Facebook had some role to play in the Arab Spring, in the Anna Hazare movement but if you think banning/monitoring Facebook can prevent large scale riots, there is a clear disconnect in the minister's mind.
And before I end, much before there were hate pages against Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, there were thousands of pages with child pornography. I did not see the minister charged up take up the arms on this one.