India Asks Facebook To Screen Users' Posts

Talk about unrealistic expectations: The government of India requested that Facebook and other social media sites screen user content to delete “disparaging, inflammatory, or defamatory” content before it goes live.

India has more than 38 million users of Facebook, making it highly unlikely that the social network could possibly meet the government request.

The New York TimesIndia Ink blog reported that India’s Acting Telecommunications minister Kapil Sibal is meeting with officials from the Indian divisions of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo on Monday, adding that the meeting was spurred by a Facebook page that was critical of Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi.

Three technology sources told India Ink the meeting about the anti-Gandhi page took place about six weeks ago; at a second gathering in late November, Sibal said he expected the companies to use people to screen the content, and not technology.

The sources told India Ink that the companies intend to tell Sibal that his request is impossible to honor due to the high volume of user-generated content coming from India, and that they cannot be responsible for determining whether content is defamatory, inflammatory, or disparaging.

Readers: Do you think the Indian government’s expectations are unreasonable?

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