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An FIR has been lodged against social networking site Facebook and one of its users for allegedly posting offensive comments about the Hindu holy scripture Bhagvad Gita. Nutan Thakur, a social activist from Lucknow, has lodged an FIR against Chandigarh-based editor of daily under the section 53, 153 A, 153-B, 290, 504, 505, 506 IPC and section 66 A Information Technology Act 2000.
In her FIR, Nutan has accused the Facebook user, who calls himself as Editor-in-Chief of a Punjabi daily, of provoking people to burn the Bhagvat Gita. Nutan said that the comments on Facebook could trigger communal violence. She also added that the social networking site was equally responsible for denting the image of the Gita. Nutan also points out that the scripture is already in news for facing a ban in Russia and such comments could enrage others people.
The police case against the social networking site come in the backdrop of the recent government attempts to monitor the online content. Indian telecom minister Kapil Sibal in a meeting with the representatives of Internet companies including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, called for a monitoring mechanism. However, the government faced flak from all corners as the move was seen as an attempt to censor the freedom of expression on Internet.
Facebook, however, had then said it would remove any content that is offensive and could hurt the religious sentiments. “We will remove any content that violates our terms, which are designed to keep material that is hateful, threatening, incites violence or contains nudity off the service,"said Facebook.
Google in response to the government appeal to monitor online content said that it would not remove content that are controversial but legal. “We work really hard to make sure that people have as much access to information as possible, while also following the law. This means that when content is illegal, we abide by local law and take it down,” said Google in a statement. "When content is legal but controversial we don't remove it because people's differing views should be respected, so long as they are legal."
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