Google Vs Vinay Rai

Scenerio goes like this… Kapil Sibal invites chiefs of Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft etc. and asks to remove the cartoons of politicians uploaded on these websites. IT companies refuse to comply with his direction. Matters cools down with Kapil Sibal backward step. Suddenly, a 39 years old journalist of weekly Urdu newspapers Akbari files plea in Supreme Court against the content on these websites. Does it look self motivated or a conspiracy by Government or just a publicity stunt?

We spoke to Mr. Vinay Rai, man who filed plea in Supreme Court. “Pictures uploaded on these social networking websites are objectionable, in the form of cartoons and comic pictures of God and Goddess which hurt religious sentiments of people and can cause communal violence. Nudity and obscenity are common on these websites”, said Mr. Rai. He also added that every website should review the content before it be uploaded as they do with the feedback that they receive about their websites. On being asked why he filed plea on Jan 17 after Kapil Sibal episode, he replied, “I approached Kapil Sibal five months back and in December also along with Muslim leaders. Sibal was only concerned about cartoon pictures of politicians such as Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, etc. He backtracked when he got no positive response from website owners.” If Mr. Rai is to be believed, then he is self motivated and has no influence of Kapil Sibal or any other political leader.

Then we contacted Mr. N.K. Kaul, an advocate representing Google. As per him, it’s not technically possible to block these websites in India or to remove all the content already uploaded on websites. “If Mr. Rai or any other individual finds something objectionable on websites, then he should report the content as spam/obscene to website itself instead of moving to court. “Sex” is an objectionable word but in our passports, voter ID cards, gender is written as “Sex”, that doesn’t mean Google will block important information pertaining to passport or voter ID cards. Same goes for “virgin”. This word is also part of virgin airlines. Google can’t block as it will deprive surfers of important information”, said Mr. Kaul. Mr. Kaul refused to comment on the motive behind filing of plea against these websites by Mr. Rai.

 In today’s world, people are smart enough to decide what is right and what is wrong. Any sensible man would report the objectionable content to website. If each person moves to court, then court would be too small to accommodate all. It has been observed that websites take action on reported content. In terms of IT knowledge, India is advancing at a very fast pace. Almost every person has an account on Facebook and similar social networking websites. Important is we regulate ourselves, instead of trying to regulate websites. Generation Y is much smarter and faster than Generation X. Any content cannot remain hidden for long.

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