New Delhi: Government`s move to ask social
networking sites to prevent objectionable content from
appearing on their web sites on Tuesday evoked a mixed response
from politicians who make prolific use of the Internet medium.
Congress MP from Kerala Shashi Tharoor, a regular on
Twitter micro-blogging site, said he was against political
censorship but there were some issues of concern like
"communally inflammatory" material, while BJP MP Varun Gandhi
decried any effort to "gag" Internet.
"Spoke to Kapil Sibal. He assured me he opposes political
censorship. Concern is communally inflammatory images &
language which he described. Have to say I support Kapil Sibal
on the examples he gave me: deeply offensive material about
religions & communities that could incite riots," Tharoor said
"I reject censorship. Art, literature & political opinion
are sacrosanct. But inflammatory communal incitement is like a
match at a petrol pump," he said.
However, Gandhi, BJP MP from Pilibhit in Uttar
Pradesh, disagreed with Tharoor and said Internet is the only
truly democratic medium free of "vested interests, media
owners & paid-off journos."
"Can see why Sibal wants to gag it," he said.
RLD MP Jayant Chaudhary, son of party chief Ajit Singh,
also appeared to question the Telecom Ministry`s move to ask
Facebook and Google to evolve mechanism to ensure
objectionable content on social networking sites are
"Censorship of the internet - Forget the desirability
issue for a minute, IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE??!!!
"Maybe Facebook, Google, etc will be asked to monitor/
remove offensive content, but what about the small blogs and
vast numbers of websites that are too small to be checked?" he
Tharoor said that on specific issues raised by Telecom
Minister Kapil Sibal he would speak to him directly.