The line between freedom of speech and hate speech is really getting blurred. Ending last week Medianama broke a big story that the Indian Department of Telecommunications has issued orders to Internet Service Licensees for blocking 78 URLs. Interestingly, it was found that the entire list of URLs was targeted against the educational institute, Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) led by Arindam Chaudhuri.
Since then, the story has turned viral on social media as the orders passed by DoT didn’t clarify why the blocking has been carried out. This rampant blocking has affected a bunch of well known as well as new publications such as Outlook Magazine, Careers360, The Times of India, FirstPost, Rediff, The Indian Express, The Economic Times, MensXP, etc. Obviously a clear case of silencing the voices that were vocal against IIPM and how it has been functional in the education system of India.
Mahesh Murthy, Founder at Pinstorm and a well known social media influencer, has also been affected by this blocking by DoT since he had a set of compiled links on Bitly against IIPM. Clearly blocking of these links adds one more chapter to the ongoing Internet censorship in India. However, this gave an opportunity to Mahesh to jump on social media and carry out the agitation against Arindam Chaudhuri and IIPM and it’s policy to block the URLs.
Mahesh, who has 4,999 friends and more than 18K followers on Facebook, has been constantly updating on the rampant blocking of links. In addition to this, Mahesh who has more than 52K followers on Twitter and another 12K on Google Plus, has been carrying out the fight on the respective networks. And his fight has not gone unnoticed by IIPM. He has received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice. ((According to Twitter,” It will respond to reports of alleged copyright infringement, such as allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted image as an profile photo, header photo, or background, allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted image uploaded through our photo hosting service, or Tweets containing links to allegedly infringing materials.”))
According to Mahesh’s update, the tweet that has been taken down had highlighted this fact with an image – “Arindam Chaudhari of IIPM spend on marketing is 24% to 67% of revenues. And on staff salaries 5%.”
The below screen grab shows the copy of DMCA that Mahesh had earlier posted on Twitter.
This blocking of links has taken several routes where at one end the Government had stated that it is going to appeal against the court order of blocking IIPM websites and at the other end Mahesh Murthy is leaving no stone unturned in his fight against Arindam Chaudhari led IIPM.
P.S. We are trying to contact Mahesh Murthy and IIPM on the DMCA notice and are waiting for their responses and future course of action. We will update as and when we hear on this.