The Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to issue notice to Google for the alleged spread of hatred about India by Orkut (Googles social networking site). Being a regular user of Orkut, I have received several mass emails informing about the presence of this “We hate India” community opened by a few illiterate folks living in Pakistan. I am sure many have reported this commuinty as bogus and objectionable to orkut but no action has been taked against it as yet. Now that is bad maintainance from orkut (or google for that matter). A site that manages millions of users (according to my session a few seconds back) needs to be a bit more active in moderation.
This is not the first time orkut is in trouble for doing something it is not supposed to. About 63% users or orkut are from Brazil which also happens to be suffering the side-effects of social networking. Orkut has been used in Brazil to traffic drugs and distribute pedophilia. Though I think sueing orkut/Google is not the right thing as orkut is not a producer of information it merely provides a platform for people to network and exchange ideas. So like every other problem, the fault is human, but I have to agree that as we drift towards web 2.0 (user generated content and networking) the work of moderation and administration becomes all the more important. I can point out at least ten social networking sites (including blogs) that are doing things like piracy, providing details of easy suicides, spreading hated towards religions, countries etc, distributing pornography and the like, but that does not mean we sue them. We need better cyber laws, need expert opinions of people involved in these fields and need to teach children about the ways of right internet usage in schools. Other wise we might just end up catching the developer of orkut like we did with the CEO of Bazee during the DPS RKPuram MMS fiasco.