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Google and Facebook Remove Content After India Court Warning

   
12:24 pm on Feb 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google and Facebook Remove Content After India Court Warning [reuters.com]
Internet giants Google Inc and Facebook removed content from some Indian domain websites on Monday following a court directive warning them of a crackdown "like China" if they did not take steps to protect religious sensibilities.

The two are among 21 companies asked to develop a mechanism to block objectionable material after a private petitioner took them to court over images deemed offensive to Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

2:43 pm on Feb 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am continually irritated by people who think that they have the right not to be offended. They don't, so they should just do what the sane majority do - ignore it and move on.

If you took everything that might offend somebody off the internet there would be very little left. All the religious sites would certainly be gone. I wonder if the "private petitioner" gives a toss about how atheists feel when they see religious propaganda everywhere...
3:52 pm on Feb 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Atheists are part of the sane minority who "ignore it and move on"
4:09 pm on Feb 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Don't miss the point of this, it's content removal which is the key point.
4:52 pm on Feb 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Don't miss the point of this, it's content removal which is the key point.


But this ties in to what Old_Honkey said. There are plenty of things on the net that, while not necessarily offensive, I do object to. So does that give me the right to demand that these things be removed?

Ironically, many of these groups who find it offensive when their beliefs are shown in a negative light, do not hesitate to do things that offend others. There has been, it always will be, a double standard. It just depends on who complains the loudest.

Marshall
5:19 pm on Feb 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Atheists are often offended too: for example, several recent comments in my Twitter stream from atheists who found religious statues in public places offensive, another atheist tried to discuss religion with me and got offended for no apparent reason. My point is every group has discreditable members.

I constantly hear various groups (ethic, national, religious, sexual orientation, political, whatever) trying to get something banned. The only line that is really consistent with freedom of speech is to uphold the right to free speech even when offensive.

Unfortunately the law in most countries is going the other way: hate speech laws in the UK for example - as ethinic minority British I am.supposed to be being protected by those laws: but I know of no benefit that is worth compromising freedom of speech for, and actually think it does a lot of harm.
5:30 pm on Feb 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So does that give me the right to demand that these things be removed?


That's the slippery slope but it gets even more slippery in an international context.

People that live in lands with the most freedom of speech and the least censorship tend to forget that our laws don't extend beyond our borders.

We seem to be amazed when companies operating within our borders are legally threatened by other countries to obey their censorship laws or be banished from operating within their jurisdiction.

If it weren't for being a public company and beholden to the shareholders and Wall Street, a big company like Google could just pull out of India as a protest and leave all those surfers, SEOs, AdWords advertisers, AdSense publishers and anyone else depending on the Google river of cash twisting in the wind.

Wonder how much social change could be accomplished by suddenly making tens of thousands of people start screaming at the government because their source of income was suddenly cut off because someone else got 'offended'?

IMO, it would be very interesting to see it play out at least once. That's how I think some future international politics may end up being played as the world economy becomes so tightly intertwined, at the business level.
7:25 pm on Feb 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Bill,

What you say goes along with news stories about corporations becoming their own countries, as it were, controlling things internationally but outside of the political arena.

Bottom line: money talks!, so your suggested experiment would be interesting.

Marshall
 

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