India orders top websites to censor themselves

Some of the world’s top websites will have to purge themselves of all content that is offensive to Indians by February 6. Facebook, Microsoft, YouTube, Google, among 21 others will have to strip their websites off any objectionable content. Given that some of the Internet scandals that have hit India recently that will include all images of women kissing men.

According to theTimes of India, 21 social networking sites, including the ones mentioned above have been “issued summons” by the court, on grounds of carrying objectionable content. They have now been charged with section 292 (sale of obscene books etc), 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person etc) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. Needless to say, the order follows a complaint to the court by a private citizen who apparently turned on his internet and found that the Internet did not show an Indian ideal of a moral society. If these sites fail to clear derogatory content off their websites by February 6, 2012 they would be charged for contempt of court. According to a statement from the court, the judge was deeply shocked by what he saw amongstthe evidence presented to the court. Apparently “unknown persons are selling, publicly exhibiting and have put into circulation obscene, lascivious content which also appears to the prurient interests and tends to deprave and corrupt the persons who are likely to read, see or hear it.” It is also evident that such contents are continuously openly and freely available to everyone who is using the said network irrespective of their age and even the persons under the age of 18 years have full and uncensored access to such obscene contents,the court ruled. It means that all the big names will either have to censor the internet or pull out of the lucrative Indian market. They are not likely to find much support from politicians either. The Indian government is furious that its citizens are apparently able to go onto the Internet and say nasty things about the Gandhi family.