Indian government censoring social media ?

New Delhi: The Indian government’s
decision to prosecute social networking sites like Google and Facebook
has triggered public anger, with netizens saying the move is tantamount
to clamping down on constitutional rights of free speech and individual
liberty.


“This censorship is totally useless, the government is
trying to curb freedom of speech and expression, which is everyone’s
right,” Kartik Dayanand, a social media consultant and blogger, told
IANS.


The government Friday gave the green signal to proceed
against 21 social networking sites for hosting “objectionable content”
promoting enmity between groups and harming national interest.


But most people view this censorship as an excuse to curb freedom of expression.

Anirudh
Salve, a content writer, said: “Social media provides ultimate freedom
space for people who want to express themselves. By snatching this
freedom, the government is trying to spoil the basic tenets of
democracy, which is not acceptable.”


“Inflammatory content on
internet cannot be accepted. It hurts some people’s sentiments, but this
is no way to rectify that problem. Putting curbs on these websites will
hamper our sense of liberty,” said Jatin Panchi, an engineering student
from Indraprastha University.


Freelance writer Pooja Kapur told
IANS: “Censoring content on social media sites is totally unjustified.
How different would we be from China or Afghanistan then?”


Others felt that there should be some control over the internet, but only to a certain extent.

Vedika Nandan, a model, said: “I think censoring of the internet is good, but to a certain extent.”

“Censorship
should be implemented to a certain limit. Social networks are portals
to discuss and communicate. But these days people put anything on the
internet, no matter what rubbish it is,” said Tullika Batra, a
journalism student at Delhi University.


“For me, if they are
commenting against a system, it is okay. But if they get personal or
abusive, then it’s the boundary for me,” Batra added.


Panchi
added: “A better way out would to introduce a self-monitoring mechanism,
some of which is already in place on these websites, but needs to be
adhered to and implemented more effectively.”


However, the majority opinion is that the government’s decision is unacceptable.

“The
decision is total antithesis of what India and its people represent and
is totally unacceptable. The government should not think of monitoring
anything that gets posted online. Facebook, Google, Twitter are just
means to communicate; they can’t be prosecuted for what people post or
say over there,” Dayanand added.

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