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'We don't Need No Limitation'

'We don't Need No Limitation'

The suggestion put forward by minister Kapil Sibal to introduce screening of social networking sites has been mostly met with opposition by users.

The new villain in the social networking circuit seems to be none other than Telecommunications Minister Kapila Sibal who, on Monday put forward a suggestion that the government would be forced to take necessary steps if internet giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google failed to screen derogatory material from their sites.

The virtual world has come up with protests against the move, mostly accusing the government of questioning their freedom of expression, with some going to the extent of starting anti-Sibal pages on networking sites.

Zac Thomas, who describes himself as a ''puzzled Congress supporter'', says he was more surprised than anything else by the report which he found on New York Times on Monday.

"It must be some sort of a stunt to publicise its India centric blog. Kapil Sibal is not a humongous idiot and nor is the government that dimwitted to suggest such an attack on freedom of expression. Surely some mistake."

Noted film director Ashiq Abu seconds this view, "I think the minister's move has been misinterpreted. While it is true that certain posts have incited religious sentiments, it's also true that r evolutions have happened through such sites. It's virtually impossible to introduce such a screening in a country like ours. What they should do instead is make cyberlaws more stringent; most social networking sites have options for reporting spam and offensive material.Make better use of it.""

Many others are of the opinion that such a move questions the very concept of social networking sites. "Such networking sites have definitely given "freedom of expression" a whole new take! For a government which has practically remained deaf to many public pleads, they have been constructive platforms for the public to discuss issues that matter to them and reach out to the concerned. If that has started bothering one of the largest democracies in the world, I fear it will be not far when we will be like one of those nations where such sites are totally banned! Only the Government knows what is "objectionable" and so on the lighter side, I feel that would definitely give more job opportunities!" says Devika Menon, a content writer.

"Every post is going to be moderated? What's the fun of social networking sites if there is no real time interaction and commenting? That will be like taking away the freedom of the common people, equal to talibanising," says Prashant Chandran, a freelance photographer.

'We don't Need No Limitation'

However, actor and model Archana Kavi asks everyone to pause and think a bit before jumping into conclusions.

"We should appreciate the kind of freedom that we've been given, and make good use of it. It is very easy to just sit at home and malign someone's image through these sites, create jokes, morph pictures, but what do you do constructively? I say we should help the government and be more responsible about what we do online.""

Meanwhile, Sibal has said that the government was not trying to censor the freedom of speech and expression or the press; it merely wants to stop offensive material from being uploaded on social networking sites. The Minister had met executives from Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft on Monday, but the meeting was not fruitful, he said.

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