Social network companies — including Facebook, Twitter and Google — have been urged to remove offensive material from their sites, by communications minister Kapil Sibal in an effort to crack down on offensive internet content.
Ministers who are active on microblogging site, Twitter, responded defending Sibal.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor initially said that he is not in favour of censoring content on the Internet but took a U-turn later. Tharoor said, “As a frequent victim of “disparaging, inflammatory or defamatory content” on social media, I wish2stress I’m not in favour of censoring it”. But, later he went on to say, “Have to say I support Kapil Sibal on the examples he gave me: deeply offensive material about religions&communities that could incite riots”
Milind Deora, a Congress minister tweeted “Govt doesn’t want censorship of the internet. But just as principle of free speech is sacrosanct, incendiary content must also be avoided.”
J&K Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah said “We want the luxury of free speech but not the burden of responsibility for how we use that freedom. Something will have to give. I hate the idea of censorship but have seen for myself how dangerous inflammatory content on facebook & youtube can be.”
However, Varun Gandhi, BJP MP from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, disagreed with Tharoor and said Internet is the only truly democratic medium free of “vested interests, media owners & paid-off journos. Can see why Sibal wants to gag it.”