NEW DELHI: Following the order of a Delhi court asking several websites, including social media networks, to remove objectionable content, Google on Monday filed a compliance report stating it had deleted certain defamatory pages.
The search engine site, along with Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft—which claimed they had no role to play with regard to content and therefore there was no cause of action against them—has been asked to, nevertheless, file a written statement explaining their stance on the court order, within 15 days.
Stating that the websites were obliged to follow earlier orders on removal of offensi­ve material, Administrative Civil Judge Praveen Singh warned them for displaying such content on their pages and listed the matter for further hearing on March 1.
The court was hearing a petition moved by Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi, an Islamic researcher running the NGO Peace Foundation, who sought removal of objectionable content from websites.
Judge Singh also asked the advocate Santosh Pandey, appearing for the petitioner, whether blog service-providing companies can be made a party to the case for any content posted by users on the blogs, and asked the peti­tioner to supply copies of all the documents relied upon, to all the opposite parties.
On December 20, 2011, the court had issued summons to 22 social networking websites asking them to remove “anti-religious” or “anti-social” content in the form of photographs, videos or text which might hurt religious sentiments. On December 24, the court set February 6 as the deadline for the websites to remove such content. The websites given the order include Facebook India, Google India Pvt Ltd, Google, Orkut, Youtube, Blogspot, Microsoft India Pvt ltd, Zombie Time, Exboii, Boardreader, IMC India, My lot, Shyni blog and Topix. The court’s order had come amid controversy over monit­oring material on the internet and of websites depen­ding on user generated content, which arose after Telec­om Minister Kapil Sibal asked social networking sites to “screen” messages posted on them.