Can India Really Block Google and Facebook Without Banning Candles?
The simple answer, like in the case of China is “yes”. However if the question is, can India afford to take such extreme measures, the answer is likely to be “not really” because, simply put, India is not same as China when democratic values are concerned.
Concerned with the rising and abusive character assassination of the political leaders through morphed images and the dangers of inflammatory posts in a religiously super sensitive nation, the flash points of which the government has to strive very, very hard to keep from exploding, the Indian government and now the Indian judiciary have warned the Internet giants that they need to act.
The question is can the internet giants comply and if they will, should the Indian authorities insist on things almost technically impossible on account of the gigantic and growing use of these social media sites?
More importantly, should India be a party to stifling information which the world never know about without the social media like the purported inhumane act of the US army, recently circulated on the social media, inviting strong criticism and appropriate corrective action, perhaps the only way such things can be prevented in the future.
To be fair, though there is no mechanism to judge, detect and thwart offensive material from getting published, both Google and Facebook have built in mechanisms for anyone who may be offended to report such entries and get them officially removed.
Isn’t this how things work in any democratic society including India when it comes to normal media or public expression? In real world no one can be stopped from expressing what he or she feels like. All you can do is to remove such expressions from records and impose appropriate punishment to the offender as per the law of the land.Continued on the next page