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Indian Gov't Bans Bulk SMS, Investigating Social Media 101

Posted by timothy
from the man-vs-the-state dept.
saiful76 writes "Following mass exodus of people belonging to north-east states India from southern states of India, specially Bangalore, allegedly due to the threatening messages, the government has asked relevant agencies to scan all social media platforms to check for inflammatory and offensive content, following which, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DIT) has issued an advisory to all intermediaries in terms of provisions of IT Act and Rules to take action for disabling all such content on priority. Cellphone operators have been told to block all bulk SMSs and videos — so nobody can send a message to more than five people at a time."
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Indian Gov't Bans Bulk SMS, Investigating Social Media

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  • What do we expect from their control freak government?
    • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by myowntrueself (607117) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @03:41AM (#41034363)

      What do we expect from their control freak government?

      Well people from SOME cultures are VERY easily offended and take this perceived offence VERY seriously.

      So its not just that this government is a 'control freak' its that the government is well aware at how hair-triggered large portions of their population can be at what to us in the West might seem incredibly minor things. Very simple words and phrases can cause widespread rioting with commensurate property damage, loss of life and livelihood. So in this sense the Indian government HAVE to be 'control freakish'.

      IMO its just dumb of these cultures to be so fucking incredibly oversensitive and it really does them no good at all it just makes them look like complete dumbasses to the rest of the world. "What, so you killed someone because he called you a son of a bitch? Riiight thats just totally justified." while within that persons social context it WOULD be 'totally justified'. Doesn't make it right, it makes that persons social context FUCKED RIGHT UP.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Sadly we do the same freeken thing over other stuff in the US/Europe. Stuff I can't mention hear because I'd be drummed out of existence and might even have someone call the cops on my ass. And the cops likely WOULD go after it. Just speech. But none the less. Dangerous speech!

        • Sadly we do the same freeken thing over other stuff in the US/Europe. Stuff I can't mention hear because I'd be drummed out of existence and might even have someone call the cops on my ass. And the cops likely WOULD go after it. Just speech. But none the less. Dangerous speech!

          But most of the time when people get riotous in the US/Europe its for things like... cops beating the shit out of someone or shooting someone out of hand. In certain other parts of the world they'd get riotous if the cops insulted someone.

          • Don't forget the riots over some team losing - or winning! - a game, like soccer, hockey, basketball.
      • by KliX (164895)

        And where exactly are you from?

      • by bhagwad (1426855)
        Let Indians be oversensitive. I don't care. But they have no right to express that "oversensitiveness" in violence. The government in India is way too tolerant of riots and people going on rampages without punishing them and making them pay for damage to property. THAT is why protesters in India are so bold. Enforce the law quickly and see how violence ends.

        As for plain ol offence...well, no life is lost just by being offended right?
      • by mrops (927562)

        Chee thanks for stereotyping. I'm from India where calling a handicap just that doesn't bother him. Or calling a black person just that is no offense to anyone. So excuse me if I take your post with a pinch of salt. In the west we keep coming with terms just so someone is not offended, handicap becomes physically challenged and you can't even call your Christmas holidays "Christmas holidays".

        • Chee thanks for stereotyping. I'm from India where calling a handicap just that doesn't bother him. Or calling a black person just that is no offense to anyone. So excuse me if I take your post with a pinch of salt. In the west we keep coming with terms just so someone is not offended, handicap becomes physically challenged and you can't even call your Christmas holidays "Christmas holidays".

          Yeah but people don't riot over these things.

          • by ubrgeek (679399)
            > you can't even call your Christmas holidays "Christmas holidays".

            Of course you can, if you're talking about your Christmas holidays. If you're talking about Hanukkah holidays or Kwanza holidays and you call them your "Christmas holidays" then at best you're being incorrect and at worst you're being a fool.
      • by tanujt (1909206)
        There is a reason why these things happen. For you in the West, things are very uniform as far as cultures, traditions, behaviour and expectations go. For a country like India, there is not even uniformity within one state. It is very difficult to judge the dynamics of such a varied culture with the yardstick of the West, and sometimes even unfair. I am not justifying the violence, I'm trying to point out reasons for the hair-thin patience when it comes to communal issues. Hindus and Muslims in India have a
    • by Hentes (2461350)

      In this case, less telespammers.

  • Alleged cause? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by donaggie03 (769758) <d_osmeyer AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday August 18, 2012 @03:26AM (#41034321)
    What is the extent of this "mass exodus"? It seems to me that if the mass is so large that it gets the attention of the national government, then the cause of the peoples' plight would be better understood than "allegedly due to threatening messages." Who is doing the allegations and why isn't there confirmation? So are these people leaving thier homes because of threatening messages or not? Is there even actually a mass of people leaving thier homes? What do THEY have to say about thier reasons?
    • Nevermind; it looks like most of my questions were answered in TFA. I still think the use of the word "allegedly" implies some question about the causes when there really isn't any. Also, I before reading the article, I had the mindset of someone who couldn't understand how a mass of people could take a threat like that seriously. Then I realised the threat was targeted towards entire ethnicities (and people are already dying in neighboring states) so the threat would seem legitimate.

      I don't see how so

      • > Bangalore was hit hardest by rumours that the ethnic violence in
        > Assam, in which nearly 80 people have been killed, would
        > ricochet across Karnataka,

        Ya, if this happened just down the road, and I got threatening texts along with thousands of my neighbors, I'd be out of there on one of the extra chartered trains, too.

        Regarding "allegedly", it's journalistic cover-my-ass, but journalists seem to have forgotten this and use it out of all context, in some kind of regurgitative reflex.

      • Re:Alleged cause? (Score:5, Informative)

        by gopla (597381) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @04:22AM (#41034503)

        You already seem to have a grasp of the situation here in India.

        People of northeast of India have a mongoloid features, which marks them as different from rest of Indians that have aryan features.

        There is some ethenic violence going on in Assam, a state in notheast of India, between Bodo (ethenic Assames people with mongoloid features) and Muslims. So other Norhteastern people living in rest of India are therened by Muslims.

        Most of these people are students and migran labours. Their parents got worried about their safety and called them back. Mass hysteria got generated when evey norhteastern person just started exodus from rest of India back to their hometown.

      • by oiron (697563)

        It's not neighbouring states - Assam is about 2000km away from Karnataka.

        Lots and lots of North-Easterners come down to work in the South, because that's where the jobs are. After the ethnic violence in the North East, there were reverse threats in the south. It's complicated.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    What threatening message? And what could be in them that causes a mass exodus? Who, what, where ? Not everybody reads India's newspapers.
  • I guess I just ought to get me one of them socialist ghost mediums, and cellphone S&M operators, to scare them 'youngun varmints, to get off my lawn?

  • Few corrections (Score:5, Informative)

    by gopla (597381) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @04:02AM (#41034431)

    The ban on bulk SMS is for 15 days at the most. This is not censorship, but an effort to avoid mass hysteria.

    Those of you who know India will understand what I mean. Even before the era of mobile phones it was somhow easy to spread roumours and generate hysteria in India. For example read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_milk_miracle/ [wikipedia.org] for one hysteria of 1995 regarding idols that drink milk, or 2006 where sea water turned sweet.

    These efforts are to help crub the new hysteria. But I am doubtful about its effectiveness.

  • I hope the "ban" stays.

    The filthy POS bastards aka marketers were such a nuisance. The DND (Do Not Dial registry) never worked well...so "ban" is the way to go.

    About the exodus...it is a minor event, in a country of 100 billion there is an exodus or pockets of violence almost every day. Indian Railway (South Western Railway to be precise) will beat the market...quarterly revenue will be excellent. Few nameless Railway babu's will get better bonuses. Their wives are going to buy costly and gaudy sarees
    • by narcc (412956)

      That's quite a baby boom! Still, I'm skeptical that their population could increase nearly 100 fold so quickly -- no matter how efficient the population is at fucking.

  • The problem with bans is that they look good in theory or they work in the short term or under specific instances but introduce a host of other problems when implemented on a grander scale. Severely restrict the sale of guns and reports of gun-related deaths will go down and then rise again as people figure out illegal ways to acquire weapons. The Prohibition reduced the total amount of alcohol consumed but allowed organized crime to flourish.

    I'd be happy to see Facebook banned. I'm sure that would increase

  • Different context, but Mubarak did this permanently a couple years before the revolution occurred. The reason was to stop people from easily organizing protests. I think we know how that worked . . .

    Not sure where it stands now since I never felt the need to try.

    • India's ruling Congress party are an entrenched kleptocracy who could easily give Mubarak's govt a run for its money.

      India's rulers like to boast that they are the "world's largest democracy" - in reality, they're the world's largest Mubarak-racy.

  • by gopla (597381) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @04:28AM (#41034519)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I hope they introduce a 5-phone-calls-per-day limit as well!!!

    This would put an end to the nuisance of calls from Indian callcenters claiming to be from "Microsoft support" and luring innocent users into downloading AMMYY on their Windows PC and have people in India take over their PC to install malware.

    This is becoming a real plague here.

  • allegedly due to the threatening messages

    Sorry, what threatening message?

    Following mass exodus of people belonging to north-east states India

    Okay, I appreciate that the submitter's first language is possibly not English, but what the hell do the editors actually do around here?

  • Is that service available outside of India? How do I subscribe?

  • CHRONOLGY
    (1) For years, illegal migration from neighbouring country.(Bangladesh).
    (2) Locals suspect that over the years this has changed the population demographics of their state.
    (3) So interested parties get into the act to beat up the supposed illegal migrants - who happen to be muslims.
    (4) The central government has always played footsie with minority vote banks (wouldn't mind a demgraphic change since their vote bank would become a majority) and instead of addressing the main issue has always regu
  • The root cause of Assam riots is the fact that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bania_(caste) [wikipedia.org] Gandhi betrayed the Independence of Bodo aka https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheduled_tribe [wikipedia.org] community in 4th August 1932 Round Table Conference. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communal_Award [wikipedia.org]

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