Indian Court Orders Facebook (and Others) to Delete “Anti-Religious” and “Anti-Social” Posts

Hindustan Times (Dec. 24, 2011) reports:

A Delhi Court on Saturday ordered 22 social networking sites, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, to remove all “anti-religious” or “anti-social” contents in the next one-and-a-half-month[s] ….

Kumar had on December 20 issued summonses to the social networking sites and asked them to remove objectionable photographs, videos or texts that might hurt religious sentiments….

The websites — asked to remove objectionable contents — include Facebook India, Facebook, Google India Pvt Ltd, Google Orkut, Youtube, Blogspot, Microsoft India Pvt Ltd, Microsoft, Zombie Time, Exboii, Boardreader, IMC India, My Lot, Shyni Blog and Topix….

The Times of India reports that the material included “derogatory articles on Prophet Mohammad, Jesus Christ and Hindu gods and goddesses.” “‘The contents are certainly disrespectful to the religious sentiments and faith and seem to be intended to outrage the feelings of religious people whether Hindu, Muslim or Christian,’ the magistrate said.”

The article does not indicate whether this is somehow targeted to Indian-hosted material, or to material being asked using identifiably Indian IP addresses, or whether this would in effect require the companies to delete all material put up by anyone, given that it can potentially be accessed in India. Thanks to Prof. Howard Friedman (Religion Clause) for the pointer.

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