Indian Court Orders Facebook (and Others) to Delete “Anti-Religious” and “Anti-Social” Posts

December 31, 2011
I have heard in America that libel has to be proven through monetary means. In the rest of the world libel is when an idea is attacked. I’m shocked these days when we actually do have free expression. not the other way around. I don’t think I have anything witty to say about this. I’m actually fine with censorship on private networks if the terms are clearly defined to any members that join, but the right to accuse libel… everywhere is overextended. We are setting ourselves up for a world where public opinion is a matter of power. This is a nightmare.

Hindustan Times (Dec. 24, 2011) (Volokh) Reports:

& A Delhi Court on Saturday ordered 22 social networking sites, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, to remove all “anti-religious” or “anti-social” contents in the next one-and-a-half-month[s] ….
Kumar had on December 20 issued summonses to the social networking sites and asked them to remove objectionable photographs, videos or texts that might hurt religious sentiments….
The websites — asked to remove objectionable contents — include Facebook India, Facebook, Google India Pvt Ltd, Google Orkut, Youtube, Blogspot, Microsoft India Pvt Ltd, Microsoft, Zombie Time, Exboii, Boardreader, IMC India, My Lot, Shyni Blog and& Topix….

The Times of India reports that the material included “derogatory articles on Prophet Mohammad, Jesus Christ and Hindu gods and goddesses.” “‘The contents are certainly disrespectful to the religious sentiments and faith and seem to be intended to outrage the feelings of religious people whether Hindu, Muslim or Christian,’ the magistrate said.”
The article does not indicate whether this is somehow targeted to Indian-hosted material, or to material being asked using identifiably Indian IP addresses, or whether this would in effect require the companies to delete all material put up by anyone, given that it can potentially be accessed in India. Thanks to Prof. Howard Friedman (Religion Clause) for the pointer.

the censorship is out of hand. the only criticism allowed is if you put down Israel. let’s hope social media doesn’t cave… but I don’t have the best of faith that they will based on experience over the last few years. I’ve been censored just about everywhere, but when someone quotes Mohammad who says to kill Jews then that is ok with the powers that be.