Lawfully objectionable contents be removed-Google Initiatives

 

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Future of Blogging – Need All Be Politically Correct Before Being Blogged ?

Since Google is continuously getting content filtration and removal requests from around the world, the company has decided to comply with local laws , similar to Twitter. Even in India the Lower Court has asked major websites like google, twitter and facebook to remove ‘objectionable contents’ else may face bans in the country!

Now anyone accessing blogger.com is redirected to the country’s Country Code Top Level Domain. That means if  Blogger.com is accessed from India it would now be redirected to blogspot.in ;  ‘.in’ being the Country – Code Top Level Domain for India .

This way Google will be able to comply with valid removal requests pursuant to local laws of different countries. However, the content removed in a country due to its law would be available in other countries where the content is not an issue. This applies to the contents of bloggers who are availing  blogger.com services, under the blogger.com subdomain(e.g.-mysay.blogspot.com) only. Does it mean bloggers who own their domains and are powered by blogger.com, may be directly answerable for any contents violating their country’s law ?

Now that Google  – ‘ ‘The Internet God’, has taken this decision, soon others will follow including WordPress and other similar service providers.

What puzzles is thinking about the bigger picture which might appear in the coming future : Will the bloggers be getting specific guidelines, by their respective countries as to what topics they can and cannot express their views on  and guidelines on  how should their expressions be portrayed in words, photographs and sketches? What comes under the parameter of  ‘Objectionable Content’ ?

But the question is ‘Who decides, what content is offending for whom ?’ For instance , if a country is going through recession and a blogger feels it  is the present government which is responsible and has his own valid points to express, would he not be allowed to blog as his writings may spread unrest and thereby offend the Government of the country ?

If this is what filtration of contents mean then why not other sources of information and communication be included too? Television and Print Media are mostly run by corporates and they can be put under pressure by Governments of countries and influential corporates and businessmen , if need be. Whereas, the Internet is the only source of communication and information where everyone is free to express about any matter , the way he/she feels about it. Is this unrest from several Governments, all over the world, not against the ‘Freedom Of  Thought And Speech’ of the common citizens of  their countries ?

India versus Internet.Filter contents or face ban

Petitioner, Vinay Rai believes this is in public interest and he has filed this complaint as  ‘affected person’ who believes in a ‘secular India’. Vinay considers the content on sites like Google,Facebook , Twitter and other such sites , including blogging sites contain unfiltered materials which are dangerous for the community and peace and harmony of the nation. He does not want the sites to be banned in India but contents should be filtered by the networking sites and search engines before going public, in India.

It might be a coincidence that he raised his voice against these sites almost around the time when the Congress Minister, Kapil Sibal declared his discontent with such sites.

Well, his complaint was slightly different from his views of filtration of content. He has accused the issue as a conspiracy between authors and the respondents to defame India with  clear intentions to spread communal violence in the country.

Delhi High Courts decision might have contented him temporarily by asking these sites to filter contents in the interest of country else face ban like in China.

Point is, today, World is considered a Global – Village and indeed it is. Just by removing contents considered objectionable in the interest of a country can it be guaranteed the contents wont create their impact when they would be freely shown in other parts of world. Do Indians live only in India. Given such circumstances, an Indian staying in Europe may get to see such content and may call up back in India, and discuss the same stuff with his friends and family and that may spread anyways. In such situation people would just follow others version of story and may react more badly. Isn’t that possible?

Since the internet has become prominent source of communication and expression , in India and the world, users have witnessed unlimited content which hurt religious and patriotic sentiments and most of them do not retaliate as they are literate enough to understand  offender’s spineless frustration which might have forced him to talk or draw contents against a religion or country. The ones who might feel offended have the liberty to contradict, question and react. Nobody stops anyone. It is fair. How many times in India riots have taken place due to contents on the internet?

By banning sites or even by filtering contents are we not taking away an opportunity of discussion, an opportunity of debate, an opportunity of correcting and above all “freedom to speech and express” ?

Is this ban not a way of saying ‘ None speaks against me.’ Is it democracy and secular thought process or dictatorship , inside the couch of ‘being offended’?

A few group of hardliners can stop someone to speak out as it happened in case of Rushdie. Point is did his expression in his book inspire someone to change his faith and if it all it did so , he never deserved to be in the clan, good for the followers of faith that a hypocrite is gone.

It is not the content on the internet but our conscious mind which filters what to react on and how and that is how it has been happening since internet has become public.  And anyways, if a content  is strong enough to shake religious or patriotic faith then such faith in religion or nationality itself was fake. Do we  have ‘only’ admirers in our surrounding? The answer is NO  and even after knowing someone does not like us or our views or dressing, we do not go ahead and attack him. We carry on without even explaining, in most of the cases.

Moreover, if a nation has to take a decision on banning on internet or its content, it has to be put for voting, the way we elect our Government. Let the majority decide what they prefer.