There is no doubt that social networking sites are replete with content which is not only controversial but is also shocking, but Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal’s step to stop such offensive and defamatory objects has created apprehension as well as questions. The Minister wants to censor posting of offensive content on social sites besides seeking a stringent monitoring on behalf of the concerned internet companies. Those who have a basic understanding of internet can relate that it is almost an impossible task and if monitoring begins on who is writing what then the Right to Expression would lose its relevance. Besides, nobody is likely to visit the social sites where there would be a censorship to gag their expression. Who will decide what is objectionable? Because some pictures or comments may be objectionable for someone might be an object of entertainment for others. For every facility and technique is replete with demerits too and the steps taken in the name of correction cannot be legitimized as it would jeopardize that specialty. Besides giving right to expression, Internet has also given a new venue to the communication network and the world is pretty aware of that.

Since the Internet world has no boundaries, people express their opinion freely, and gagging this freedom would be like stopping them from speaking. There is no doubt that a few take undue advantage of this liberty which sometimes creates problem, but that does not mean an attempt should be made to depute a watchdog. This is actually not possible as it would send across a wrong message to the world. The fact is that by raising his eyebrows Kapil Sibal has already passed the wrong message. One segment of the International media has termed the move as India following the footsteps of China. Sibal is pretty aware of the fact that objections can be raised against offensive content posted on social sites and the provision to remove that is already existing. This system can be more effective, but precautions have to be taken that it should work under certain limitations. At present, there is no technique and perhaps won’t be in future to understand the statements full of pun and sarcasm. If the Telecom Minister feels that offensive and defamatory content is increasing on social sites, he is already empowered to amend the Cyber Laws. The action must be taken against those who use these sites for spreading rumour and inciting sentiments, but the effort to discourage such bid does not mean culprit should be apprehended prior to even committing crime. There is no hidden fact behind Kapil Sibal’s move that he is irked over ongoing criticism of the government at these social sites. His annoyance is understandable but his actions to guard against such denigration are improper.