The pressure from Indian government grows on social media sites for removal of hate messages. After Facebook and Google, Twitter blocks fake accounts of PMOIndia.
According to NDTV, Twitter has started co-operating and has blocked 6 parody accounts of Indian PMO. Earlier I had shared that the Indian Government was thinking to press legal charges against Twitter if it fails to co-operate. The pressure has built up specially after popular sites like Facebook and Google have accepted that they are working with the government to control hate speech.
The rampant crack down on blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts have been intensified because of the ongoing tensions in the NE state. The state has recently witnessed clashes between two communal forces and this has allowed rumor mongers to use social media to spread tensions. Due to this the government has planned to control content on social networking sites.
After giving orders to block 245 websites, the government has ordered blocking of 80 more internet pages and user accounts have been blocked on various social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The Indian government is also seeking help from Saudi Arabia and the US to identify some accounts that are working from these countries.
But the BIG question is how helpful is it?
Content monitoring on social media is not an easy job and specially when we talk about Twitter. The parody accounts that have been blocked have already taken a new birth. @PM0India @pmoindia_and @indian_pm which were targeted are back as normal. The listed accounts seem to have created their presence again as you can easily make out by their number of followers and tweets.
I’m not dead. I’ve been reborn. To escape censorship.
— Dr Manmohan Singh (@PM0India) August 21, 2012
In addition to this, the clarification given by the Indian government is also questionable since no disclosure has been provided as to why so many sites have been blocked. Nikhil Pahwa of Medianama, has once again raised a Right To Information Request on the order of blocking 245 webpages.
As I have shared before that blocking or monitoring content on social media is a quick fix that the government is aiming for. Hate content is not justified by any rational human being but if this trend continues then there would be rampant pressure on these social networking sites to regulate content. Who draws the line then?