Facebook, Google on Trial in India
Firms accused of failing to remove blasphemous content
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2012 3:10 AM CDT
An Indian man views a Google page at an Internet cafe in Hyderabad.   (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

(Newser) – Facebook and Google are on trial in India for failing to yank objectionable content from their websites quickly enough. A criminal complaint alleges that sites including Facebook and Google's YouTube didn't remove content mocking religious figures, despite Indian laws against "blasphemous" and "ethnically objectionable" material online. The trial begins today, and execs from the Internet firms could face jail time if convicted.

Civil liberties lawyers call the case—which comes as Facebook eyes India as a major growth market—an assault on free speech, the Wall Street Journal notes. Lawyers for the Internet firms argue that it would be unfeasible for them to police all of their content for objectionable material. "Internet companies have to follow the local laws of the land," says the founder of Indian e-commerce site ShopClues.com. "But India can't afford to send a message that unreasonable censorship of the Internet has started."

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Mar 13, 2012 10:36 AM CDT
This nonsense started in India after there was a huge movement to try and curb the corrupt practices of the current government. The Social Media was used quite a bit to get the information across and organize the protests. This has nothing to do with religion, the only sentiments that are being hurt are the ones that belong to the current corrupt government in power and all the criticism it has faced through these sites. It has a lot do with the corrupt Gandhi family in power and how there arepages on facebook mocking them and showing their corrupt ways. This is purely an attempt to curb freedom of speech. The only good thing that might come out of this is that the Country may revolt and throw theses jackasses out of the govt.
Mar 13, 2012 10:16 AM CDT
YouTube and Facebook should remove EVERYTHING that goes into those backwards countries. Then wait for them vote their archaic laws away. Let them wallow in their own self-made misery.
Mar 13, 2012 7:53 AM CDT
I didn't know the world's largest democracy was so f*cking backwards. Freedom of speech is a pillar of a modern and just society.