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India Moves To Censor Social Media 171

An anonymous reader writes "India's Telecoms minister has prompted an uproar after it was revealed he met with executives from Google and Facebook to pressure them into screening 'objectionable' content. Critics argue it is a dangerous step down China's censorship path. 'He denied such a demand was censorship. There is some content on the Internet that "any normal human being would be offended by," he said. The government has asked social media companies to develop a way to eliminate offensive content as soon as it is created, no matter what country it is created in, he said.'
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India Moves To Censor Social Media

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  • by kawabago ( 551139 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @08:07PM (#38286518)
    Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me unless I'm China or India. How long do these countries have to be civilized before they develop enough confidence to withstand an insult? What are we at now, 5,000 years, 8,000 years and they still can't take a few unkind words? Maybe they should think about starting again, from scratch. Scratching in the dirt with a stick, to plant some food that is, right back to the beginning.
  • Re:I'm offended (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @08:42PM (#38286800) Homepage Journal

    Obviously this happens because people are generally stupid (don't take it as a flamebait, it's just an observation), and people vote for those, who promise them something regardless of long term consequences. That's how the character from your comment got into power, that's how people like Hoover and FDR and Obama got into power, they promise things that will deliver short term satisfaction but the long term consequences are always disastrous. What's funny is how many complain that corporations only look at short term gains, but that's not specific to corporations, it's just how people most often behave because they don't normally spend any amount of time thinking for the long term and even when they do, most of the time they lack the capacity to appreciate the real consequences of their choices.

    Here are some examples, I am going to post them as questions first:

    1. Is it a correct thing to allow interpretation of Constitution?
    2. Is it a correct thing to allow the government live on debt?
    3. Is it a correct thing to allow the government control money supply and cost?
    4. Is it a correct thing to give the government power to insure people in any way (from deposit insurance to health and retirement)?
    5. Is it a correct thing to give the government power to tax people's incomes?
    6. Is it a correct thing to give government power to provide security against criminal activity by diminishing individual liberties?
    7. Is it a correct thing to allow government regulate business?

    8. If these same questions were posed differently, would you have recognized them in their true form?


    The correct long term answer to items 1-7 is always a 'no', it cannot be a 'yes' under any circumstances, but that's the long term thinking.

    In a short term answering with a 'yes' often seems like a good idea for unsophisticated voters (and those who don't care or immediately stand to gain from the government power that will immediately provide them with something like a contract or a special privilege).

    But the fact remains that majority of people don't have ability to think long term, they don't have ability and mental capacity to recognize the real consequences and often they have prejudices and ideologies that would guarantee that they will answer those questions the wrong way. That's why people like that come to power.

  • by subreality ( 157447 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @09:07PM (#38286990)

    I'm not sure it's done for self-serving reasons, but it's bullshit either way:

    There is some content on the Internet that "any normal human being would be offended by,"

    I don't think I could write a better one-sentence example of institutional conformism. "Normal human beings" are a myth, and even if such a thing existed, they have no inherent right to censor the abnormal ones. Almost everyone can be offended by the words of another sane, sincere human being.

    Can I claim to be a normal human being who is offended by this proposal? Perhaps HE should be censored.

  • Re:Silencing Dissent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @11:12PM (#38287638) Homepage
    Frog boiling applies poorly to politics. People's expectations of freedom slowly increase. That's why surfdom, absolute monarchy, and slavery are no longer acceptable. I am quite certain that our current control-oriented mindset is temporary. Eventually, it will become intolerable (we're already nearing it), and the result will be greater freedom overall than before. That process might be avoidable, but history suggests oppression comes slowly, and freedom comes in greater bursts.

    There is another meme that applies: to make an omelet, you need to break a few eggs.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.