The Saltlist

Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.

Supervision and not Censorship.

 By: Namita Singh



On Tuesday,the 6th of December 2011, Communication and Information Technology minister Kapil Sibal tried to put forth his concerns over censorship of social networking sites suggesting the content to be inflammatory and capable of inciting violence, gaining a lot of media light.After a largescale rejection of his statement, Mr Sibal on a popular news channel attempted to clarify it as “supervision and not censorship” – if we may ask him to explain the difference.

The timing of his statement is such that, it is also speculated,the demand of censorship is due to the widespread online campaign of Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption. His idea of ‘supervision’ wasn’t applauded or welcomed.On the contrary,it seems like he lost his set of votes which were to come from the social media users. Google India stressed that “when content is legal but controversial , we don’t remove it because differing views of people should be respected as long as they are legal”.Eminent author Chetan Bhagat wrote “I hate some stuff that’s written on Internet but I’d hate it even more if they are not allowed to write it .You can’t censor the internet content and you shouldn’t”.Twitter was flooded with tweets under #idiotkapilsibal highlighting the anger of the people. Even the RSS criticized Sibal’s move alleging that it hinted at communalism.

There are various other debates associated with the monitoring of content- this would take away the right to freedom of speech and expression from the users of social networking sites. Also, there are more important issues to be looked at- such as provision of faster internet (would you even be able to read anything online if you were stuck on the same page for ages?), better signal strength etc.Reports said that Mr Sibal was keen to censor ‘obscene images of Indian political leaders’ and ‘pornographic depictions of Gods’. The former clearly highlights his sense of insecurity.
Rather than expurgating the views of the audience, they should administer the workings of their party as charity begins at home.Lets hope Mr. Digvijay Singh does not start a hunger strike against the same and Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s letter to the Prime Minister isn’t offensive enough to cost our home minister his seat. Till then, we can sit back and have a good laugh over the millions of jokes the minister has been the butt of. Oh! Censor my statements please, will you? Well, if that were the case, you wouldn’t be reading this article in the first place.


12 comments on “Supervision and not Censorship.

  1. Aman
    December 14, 2011

    very interesting and well written !

  2. Tushar Singla
    December 14, 2011

    Hi! Nice Article..:)

    What Mr Kapil Sibal forgets(doesn’t even bother to consider) is that it is technically impossible to have a real time analysis of the content being uploaded/posted by a user!
    So, rather than trying to think out of the box, he should also give his implementation and contention of how it could be done and not leave it to the rest of the world!

    • namita
      December 14, 2011

      thank you tushar
      selective filtration of content is possible . networking sites like Facebook and twitter do provide facilities of spamming and blocking of content but they are user friendly. but it is definitely not possible to censor or supervise all the content available , sites can definitely be banned.

  3. kathu
    December 14, 2011

    faaaaaaad !! nicely compiled gud work

  4. daisy baa
    December 14, 2011

    nicely written namita…..keep up the gud work……

    • namita
      December 14, 2011

      thank you, your appreciation keeps us going.

  5. Lata Jha
    December 14, 2011

    Great work..really great work 🙂

    • namita
      December 15, 2011

      thank you lata , a word of praise from your friend and mate means a lot .

  6. Hemul Goel
    December 15, 2011

    That’s a good piece! However even banning sites doesnt do the trick, last year when was banned a way around was found too. People have a right to express themselves however thankfully mostly people here havent acted foolishly like Varun Gandhi’s hate speech was equally condemned by people asmuch as by the politicians. We are thinking beings not mindless robots that someone will feed something to us and we wont be able to use our discretion whether it’s right or not!

    • namita
      December 15, 2011

      thank you
      and yes ! your point is very much valid. the whole debate revolves around the same , common man does have some common sense as well , and any kind of censorship ‘by government’ will only ensure that nothing is produced against them something similar to what happened during emergency under the reign of Indira Gandhi. banning or reporting stuff should be user friendly otherwise it will definitely jeopardize the whole idea of democracy and freedom of speech and expression.

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This entry was posted on December 14, 2011 by in National.

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