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The Fallacy of Facebook and the Censoring of Social Media

In previous posts, I stated that social media can be dangerous. I discussed the article regarding a medical professional stating he was “getting more information from people using social media then the on site professionals” and commented on that how did he know these people were actually there and/or stating “the truth” or facts and not predisposed biased comments? The answer is you can’t.

Nor can you stem the tide of a “trend” right/wrong, true or false once it gets started – hence the dangers of social media.

China, India and other countries are demanding social media sites ban content that “disrupts peace, harmony and public order. ” They end such statements with “National Security” and once you start with these words, the government can pretty much do as it pleases – almost as saying “racism” or “prejudice” – once said, any argumen loses credibility.

Social media is like yelling FIRE in a crowded place. It has its use but can be used improperly

NEW DELHI– Google Inc.  (GOOG) and  Facebook Inc.  (FB) said Tuesday they are working on requests from  India  to remove from their websites “inflammatory and hateful content” that  New Delhi  blames for sparking a mass exodus of people from several cities.
Tens of thousands of panic-stricken students and workers from northeast left for home last week, spurred by rumors they would be attacked in retaliation for communal violence in Assam, a northeastern state, that left at least 78 people dead.

India  on Monday blocked as many as 245 Web pages for hosting video clips and other content that the authorities said were distorted and were used for spreading the rumors.
The government is wary of social networks being misused for inciting violence and has asked companies including  Google ,  Facebook ,  Twiter Inc.  and  Microsoft Corp.  (MSFT) to remove such content from their websites.
Facebook , which has about 50 million users in  India , acknowledged receiving the requests and said it is working through those requests and responding to the agencies.
” Facebook  will remove content which breaches our terms,” as defined in its agreement with its users, it said in a statement.
The U.S.-based company said it is encouraging its users to flag such content through its website “so that we can investigate and take action fast.”
Search-engine giant  Google , which provides services such as  YouTube  and Orkut said: “We understand the gravity of the situation… and continue to work closely with relevant authorities.”
Content intended to incite violence is prohibited on all  Google  products, the company said in a statement.
Twitter and  Microsoft  didn’t offer any immediate comments.
According to  India , some of these content have been uploaded from outside the country, mostly from  Pakistan , and it wants the social-networking sites to take quick action to block them.
“…a lot more and quicker action is expected from them (social-networking sites) to address such a sensitive issue which concern restoring peace, harmony, public order and national security,”  India’s  Department of Electronics & Information Technology  said in a statement, and added that it is working with these companies to deal with the situation.
India  has been pushing Internet firms, especially social-networking websites, to censor content. However, they have refused to do so, citing local information technology laws that protect them from liability for content posted by users.
In a separate case,  Google ,  Facebook  and some other websites are facing criminal charges in a  New Delhi  court for hosting, what Indian authorities call “objectionable content.” Senior executives of these companies are scheduled to appear in the trial court on  Sept. 22  to face charges in this case.