Facebook Blocks Access in India to Controversial Page

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ganesh177, May 24, 2010.

  1. ganesh177

    ganesh177 Regular Member

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    Facebook Blocks Access in India to Controversial Page




    Facebook has blocked in India the controversial "Everybody draw Mohammed Day!" page that last week led to the site being banned in Pakistan.

    The move follows protests by Muslims in the country over the page which invites users to put up caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.

    "Out of respect for the local regulations, standards and customs, we have decided to restrict access to the 'Everyone Draw Mohammed!' page from India, after being contacted by authorities and reviewing the matter closely," a spokeswoman for Facebook said on Sunday in an email.

    We have not removed the Page from Facebook, but have only restricted access to it from India," she added.

    The page was inaccessible from India from late Saturday.

    Officials at India's Departments of Telecommunications and Ministry of Home Affairs said on Sunday that they were not aware of the Indian government blocking the site. The country's Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008 allows the government to block web sites under certain conditions.

    Access to Facebook was restricted on Wednesday in Pakistan by the local regulator, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Earlier, a court in the country had instructed the government to block the site. On Thursday, PTA also blocked YouTube, citing sacrilegious content on the video-streaming Web site.

    Facebook may consider IP blocking in Pakistan after further review of local regulations, standards and customs, the Facebook spokeswoman said on Sunday.

    A move to block the page in Pakistan would be in line with Facebook's stated policy on the issue.

    When dealing with user-generated content on global Web sites, there are occasions where content that is illegal in one country is not, or may even be protected, in another, Facebook said on Thursday. Most companies, including Facebook, approach this issue by preventing certain content from being shown to users in the countries where it is illegal, it added.

    The "Everyone Draw Mohammed!" page had 112,541 fans and 12,983 photos on Sunday. The page was however brought down on Thursday for two days by a page moderator who got scared after his e-mail and Skype account was hacked into, and his personal data revealed, according to a post on the page on Saturday.

    The page has spawned a number of look-alike pages on Facebook with the same or similar names, as well as pages opposing it.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/196984/facebook_blocks_access_in_india_to_controversial_page.html

    How could FB force such a action, if indian govt never initiated such step.
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    pre-emptive action by FB just not to flare up sentiments in india....coz if such protest occurs in india as were in case of taslima nasreen then govt would be forced to ban FB in india and FB cant even think of losing biggest market.
     
  4. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Nah, protests by groups here wouldn't force the government to block Facebook. Nobody will block Facebook just because a small piece of its content was offensive. Instead government will advice those who take offense to unsubscribe from Facebook, or disconnect their internet, if they are so easily offended by little things in a globalized world.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
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  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ^^ oh really last i heard taslima nasreen was forced to flee from kolkata then from hyderabad went into hiding in Delhi and govt. was reluctant to extend her visa after expiry...
     
  6. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    That's not even a suitable argument. Facebook has millions of subscribers in India. The government will not deny access to majority of Indians who don't want to lose access to facebook just because a bunch of people who can't even tell what Facebook is would take offence.

    In case of Nasreen, the government merely upheld its ideals of righteousness by doing all it can from getting Nasreen killed. Protesting groups are both outnumbered and outmatched by Facebook subscribers.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    And who these users are????educated IT savy the one who use computer do you excpect these people to come to street and protest when they dont even come out to vote????
     
  8. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    And for the know, another reason Facebook won't be banned in India come what may, is because of millions of dollars worth advertising business survives on Facebook as a medium. That lobby simply won't allow the government to block the medium.
     
  9. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Whoever they are, they are more in number and have way more commercial interests (both as advertisement consumer and advertisers) attached to Facebook than what would make even feasible for the government to block Facebook.

    And I ask who are those people who will take to the streets in the name of god to get Facebook blocked?

    1. Those who can't even spell it properly; and 2. Those who don't even know what Facebook is, or what it does.

    Educated, moderate people will not even take offence. I don't take offence to the countless sites that make fun of my religion, or even my country.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Thats the very reason FB took that kind of pre-emptive action.Be it on some advise from some quarter(may be indian govt. itself) or may be business intution or foresight from FB group.
     
  11. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Nah you don't seem to get the point. Even if Facebook had not done that preemptive action, the government would not be in a position to block Facebook, if there are any public protests. Because the section of advertising industry which uses Facebook as a medium is so strong, that it will have the ban revoked in no time.
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    FB users are minor in percentage as compared to no.of illiterates in india and even among literate more numbers are those of computer-illiterate.so this minor numbers of FB users dont count for GOI when they even vote its those major percentage of uneducated who votes make GOI to change decisions.And remember india is more of a mobocracy ...who ever can create biggest mob gets heard by the govt.....remember singur Tata nano case....And its good that you dont take offence but then expecting all others like you will be greatest fallacy from you.
     
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    when mob comes to streets then govt. has to rollback descisions. singur as i said before....
     
  14. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Then I'll have to put it in this way:

    Muslims are a minor percentage in India. Even if the demographics of India are perfectly comparable to the demographics of Indian Facebook users, only a minor percentage are likely to take offense. So given this, Government won't ban an advertising medium when a majority is not likely to take offense from some piece of content, because the ban won't be feasible when millions of dollars are attached to it.

    Once again you've cited an example that doesn't relate. Tatas could move out of Singur, into another state. But blocking Facebook would mean blocking a unique advertising medium that doesn't have perfect alternatives.

    Another reason why Tata-Singur doesn't compare to this is because all people associated with Singur's lands protested, hence things could move in their favour. In Facebook-related street protests, you can safely bet your last penny that nobody in the angry mob is a facebook subscriber, most don't even know what Facebook is. Such a thing won't move the government.

    When mob protests, govt will ask them to disconnect. They're unfit to even live in a globalized world if they take offence to something like this.

    Blocking the entire Facebook because some tiny part of it has offensive content is perfectly comparable to blocking the entire internet just because some sites have offensive content.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    whor werethe officials who advise FB to block as the report claims...were they GOI officials or the local FB officals in india.and if they were GOI then sure my theory holds water as i said before.

    but with in next para telecom dept. officials in india deny of having any knowledge but then say they can block websites under IT law...

    Now my hunch is that this was done as pre-emptive action just to avoid unpleasant circumstances for the govt. in india.And its well known fact that any indian govt. follow the least resistance path until possible..
     

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