Telecom & IT minister Kapil Sibal is being abused on the very social networking sites he was trying to pre-screen. Facebook and Twitter were filled with “defamatory comments” about the minister on Tuesday.
“I urge you to write KAPIL SIBAL IS AN IDIOT as your Facebook status message, use the hashtag #IdiotKapilSibal on Twitter, and write a blog post with the above title, because there may soon be a day when he may prevent you from doing so,” blogger Shivam Vij posted on Kafila.org, as a reaction to Sibal’s preposterous demand. (He actually wants Google, Facebook and friends to manually approve content before it is uploaded on social networks. Does he have any idea about what he’s talking about? Does he know how much content is uploaded on these per second? And this is extreme censorship!)
Soon after, the hashtag was trending on Twitter India and furious netizens used it to vent their anger online.
– User Bhavika Sicka tweeted, “Kapil Sibal is a downright idiot if he believes he can monitor and circumscribe our space and right to expression”.
– Among others, was author Chetan Bhagat who tweeted, “I hate some of the stuff written on the Internet, but I’d hate it even more if they were not allowed to write it”.
– Mumbai-based user Dhaval Faria posted, “What’s wrong with Kapil Sibal? Are we following China, Pakistan, Middle East countries in censorship? Pathetic”.
Meanwhile, on Facebook, users posted images of the new ‘Kapil Sibal Like Button’. Faking News, an online satire news website interviewed a Facebook employee who explained: If a status update doesn’t have a ‘Kapil Sibal likes this’ response by default, it means that our filters have somehow missed it.
Tweet reactions from ministers:
– MP Shashi Tharoor first reacted by tweeting, “As a frequent victim of “disparaging, inflammatory or defamatory content” on social media, I wish2stress I’m not in favour of censoring it,’’ but he later changed his stand with a tweet that read, “Have to say I support Kapil Sibal on the examples he gave me: deeply offensive material about religions & communities that could incite riots”.
(Dear Tharoor, I guess you changed your stand realising that this is the only way you can continue in Indian politics.)
– Supporting Sibal’s demand Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah posted, “I hate the idea of censorship but have seen for myself how dangerous inflammatory content on #facebook & #youtube can be.”
– MP Varun Gandhi on the other hand posted against it, “The Internet is the only truly democratic medium free of vested interests, media owners & paid-off journos. Can see why Sibal wants to gag it. ”
What made the minister angry? Did Kapil Sibal Facebook search his name?
According to news reports, he was angry with a few ‘Anti Sonia groups’ and of course bringing religion into the scheme of things… he claims there are groups that hurt religious sentiments, and could potentially be the cause of future riots. It’s like Sibal just started using the Internet. I mean, offensive material is available if you look for it. Duh.