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TAKE OFF anti-social content, court tells Facebook, Google

Last updated on: December 24, 2011 17:45 IST

Image: A Google carpet is seen at the entrance of the new headquarters of Google France
Photographs: Reuters

Setting a deadline for 22 social networking websites including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to remove all "anti-religious" or "anti-social" content, a Delhi court on Saturday directed the companies to file compliance reports by February 6.

Additional Civil Judge Mukesh Kumar, who had on December 20 in a ex parte order issued summons to the social networking websites, granted around one and half month for compliance of his order.

Out of 22, the representatives of two websites, Yahoo India Pvt Ltd and Microsoft, appeared in court and submitted that they have not got the copies of court order and complaint against them and pleaded the judge to provide the same.


Court blow to websites: Remove derogatory content by Feb 6

Santosh Pandey, counsel appearing for complainant Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi, assured the court that he would provide the companies with the copy of complaint and other related documents.

Pandey, after the court proceedings, told the media that the websites have to submit a compliance report to the court by February 6 detailing what action they have taken to remove the objectionable and derogatory contents from the websites.

The court had on December 20 asked the social networking websites to remove the objectionable content in the form of photographs, videos or text which might hurt religious sentiments.

TAKE OFF anti-social content, court tells Facebook, Google

Image: Telecommunications Minister Kapil Sibal

The court's order came amid a raging controversy over monitoring the content on the Internet and of those websites depending on user generated content, which arose after Union Telecommunications Minister Kapil Sibal had asked the social networking websites to "screen" the content.

On the last day of hearing on December 20, the court, after going through several printouts of the objectionable contents, CD and other documents, found them defamatory and derogatory and ordered them to be taken off the sites.

"I have gone through the record carefully wherein the plaintiff has also filed a CD containing all the defamatory articles and photographs. In my considered opinion, the photographs shown by the plaintiff have content of defamation and derogation against the sentiments of every community," said the court.

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TAKE OFF anti-social content, court tells Facebook, Google

Image: A protest against Kapil Sibal

"In such circumstances, I am of the view that the plaintiff has a prima facie case in his favour. Moreover, the balance of convenience is also against the defendants (websites) and in favour of the plaintiff," the judge had said.

"Moreover, if the defendant will not be directed to remove the defamatory articles and content from the social networking websites, not only the plaintiff but every individual who is having religious sentiments would suffer irreparable loss and injury and cannot be compensated in terms of money," the judge had said.

The websites which have been asked to remove objectionable content includes Facebook India, Facebook, Google India Pvt Ltd, Google Orkut, Youtube, Blogspot, Microsoft India Pvt Ltd, Microsoft, Zombie Time, Exboii, Boardreader, IMC India, My Lot, Shyni Blog and Topix.

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