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Online censorship debate Goes to India

February 28, 2009

Seems like governments and legal bodies around the world are onto blogs and social media. Earlier it was Facebook Debate in Australia and this time it is India, where a boy is facing criminal charges for starting an orkut community against a political party (Times of India reports).  He landed up in this situation for there were hostile comments from anonymous users. Court denied protection to him saying –

…You are a computer student and you know how many people access internet portals…

Other than the usual debate of freedom of speech and expression of thoughts , interesting thing to note is that while in Australia Facebook was held responsible for a similar case, In India its the individual who is facing the heat. I feel they have simply caught the easy bait and got him scared. This also reminds me of  2004 MMS case when ebay CEO was arrested for sale of Porn CD on ebay. Google officials beware!! By the way I am wondering if there are any comments from Google. At the time of posting this blog I could not find anything either on orkut blog or Google Blog. It would be nice to hear something from them.

Who is really responsible? The Journalist or the newspaper? The user or the Orkut? The founder of the community or the anonymous commenter?

That Debate will go on … Its difficult to decide who should be held responsible for this, if it would have been a blog and his personal thoughts then it would have been easy to point fingers on him, however these cases of  un moderated online groups present a complicated case.

I haven’t seen the community nor the comments however I personally dont believe in this argument of defaming somebody through online blogs and comments, is there a real example of  defaming a genuine person or prodcut through blogs? Would really like to know such an example. This web world is unique in its sense of self regulatory system. Try blogging or posting bad about something which is really genuine and I am sure it will be followed by greater number of positive comments proving the  genuineness. So instead of reacting and initiating a criminal case against the boy, political party could have entered into positive debate and shown some courage to prove those comments to be wrong (If at all…!)

This article on Techtree covers Indian Bloggers’  comments on the issue.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 28, 2009 2:38 pm

    Though not having enough insight to views expressed on the blog and comments thereof, the case testing waters in a complex territory. In a rule of law defined in a traditional set of framework, an outburst against an individual or a corporate will invite a defamation case, within clearly prescribed rules. When it comes to the world wide web, the rules are not really clearly defined in an Indian context. However there are clear guidelines that have been setup and have been adopted in the developed world. However note -‘defamation’ has a clear contexual and yes ‘subjective’ definition.

    Now comes to a very important point of who really owns up? Well as the world wide web becomes more open, the question mires in deeper complications. Lot of thoughts come to mind. It will be interesting to observe.

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