Google, Facebook remove content from India sites

Web giants remove content deemed offensive from their sites to comply with lawsuit and avoid having access to these sites cut by government, report states.

Google and Facebook have removed allegedly offensive content from their Indian sites after they were ordered by the Indian court to the pre-screen user content or face having access to their sites blocked.

According to an AFP report Monday, both companies stated in their court submissions that they had removed the content, which is believed to involve obscene images of religious figures and senior Indian politicians.

"This step is in accordance with Google's policy of responding to court orders," Google India's spokesperson, Paroma Roy Chowdhury, said in the report.

Google and Facebook, as well as Yahoo and Microsoft, are among 22 Web companies involved in private criminal and civil cases being heard in a New Delhi court that will determine whether they can be held responsible for obscene material generated online by users, AFP stated. 

The group had appealed to the court to end the case, arguing that they cannot be held responsible for their users' actions on their sites, the report noted. But they were warned by the judge then that should they not comply, their sites could be blocked "like China", it added.

Earlier, Kapil Sibal, India's acting telecommunications minister had hauled in top executives from the Indian offices of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo to his office to demand the companies pre-screen user content in the country and remove disparaging, inflammatory or defamatory material before these get published online on their sites.


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