Mr Kapil Sibal is upset because certain pages of a social networking site (Facebook) contains material where people express their opinions with rather creative expression to convey their displeasure against the government. He summons the top bosses of these companies ordering them to take down the stuff! Thank god, they were transnational corporations and therefore have some bargaining power in the matter. And they are bargaining, for good reason!
I don’t disagree that some of the content may indeed be objectionable. Also perhaps it may violate some laws of the land and may potentially trigger communal riots, political violence etc. However, is summoning the CEOs of these platform providers to a meeting the way to go about it. I reckon not and here’s the alternative.
As ordinary users, what do we do when we find something objectionable on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere on the Internet! We report it to the platform provider. Most popular platform providers have such mechanisms.They evaluate our complaint w.r.t. their policies and act. And just like individual users, even businesses who manage pages and microsites on such platforms, monitor their online buzz for various reasons including this one!
Why does Mr Sibal and his party, The Indian National Congress, not institute a social media monitoring cell. And if they find certain content objectionable, they must complain.
Rather they are so entrenched in their old days of hegemonic control of the media, that they know no better. Just that they would have wielded a leash on Mr Prannoy Roy (for instance) to stop covering a particular story if they found it objectionable, they expect Facebook to start taking down pages!
That this Government is exceptionally poor at managing their public presence, we have seen time and again. The two fasts of Anna H, the Ramdev incident and now this #IdiotKabilSibal trend on twitter.