Northeast exodus Government may take legal action against Twitter

12:53 PM, Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

TwitterNew Delhi: The government has threatened to take legal action against social networking sites like Twitter who have refused to cooperate in the crackdown on web pages carrying inflammatory messages against Indians from the Northeast.

Facebook and YouTube have already confirmed the government’s suspicion that inflammatory messages were uploaded from Pakistan.

Speaking  the Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar said that Twitter is not cooperating and legal action will be taken against all websites which do not respond. The hate messages sparked off the exodus of Indians from the Northeast from cities like Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.

Sources say 254 websites have been blocked so far and one person in Coimbatore has been held for forwarding a controversial SMS. Cases have also been registered in Pune and Mumbai. The preliminary investigation report will be shared with Pakistan.

Union Home Secretary RK Singh has said that the evidence will soon be shared with Islamabad. “Islamabad is demanding proof that the morphed pictures and hate messages originated in Pakistran. Proof will be handed over soon. A number of sites have been blocked. We have also identified a number of sites which were uploaded from Pakistan.”

Meanwhile, Facebook and YouTube have informed the government that inflammatory content uploaded on their pages has indicated that they originated from Pakistan. “The initial response from international social networking sites indicates that such content has been hosted from outside the country and to a large extent from a neighbouring country (Pakistan),” Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEIT) said in a statement.

The government has squarely blamed the social media websites for the Northeast exodus saying they have been misused saying people need to understand the scale of destruction caused by them.

Speaking exclusively Communications and Information Technology Minister Sachin Pilot talked tough saying though the government wants people to use social media websites, there is a “fine line” and the “law of the land”.

Referring to the misuse of the social media websites with regard to the exodus of northeastern people from cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai, the Union Minister said, “If any platform will be misused, we need to stand back. We have asked the websites to be screened for objectionable content.”

He further said, “Facebook and Twitter are good platforms for exchange of ideas, but they must not be misused….every country has the right to ensure that such websites are not misused…we want companies to be responsible to the needs of our society.”

Pilot also said that the response of websites like Google and Facebook on the issue was not encouraging.


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