Anil Thakraney: Blocking websites is stupid

24 Aug,2012

By Anil Thakraney


And, we Indians are back to doing what we do best: Try to cure malignant cancer by prescribing a dosage of Crocin tablets. This is exactly what the government has done, by threatening to block social media sites and by blocking many URLs. And by enforcing a rationing of SMSes. All this to deal with communal tensions present in the nation.


Well, here’s what will happen: More web pages will be created. And mischief-mongers will figure out innovative code lingo to abuse social media. And the tamasha will simply carry on in this juvenile cat and mouse game. Totally ridiculous.


What the government needs to do, is to come up with two solutions, one technical and the other political. There has to be continuous, smart monitoring of the internet, in collaboration with the website hosts, to regularly keep track of hateful and illegal content. This will ensure the culprits are quickly identified, and punished, if possible. And this will leave the 99.9999 perceent of the rest of the users to continue enjoying the internet freely. This is exactly what happens with offline crimes. If there are rapes happening in Delhi, you nab the rapists, you don’t lock up all Delhi men inside their homes. The truth is, the government hasn’t kept pace with the tech revolution, and is now trying to combat it like a headless chicken. There has been no comprehensive policy drafted in this matter, they’ve been caught napping.


Secondly, and more importantly, this nation has a serious fault line, and it shows up again and again. Which is that, encouraged by the divide and rule policies of the various political parties, India is forever sitting on an active communal volcano, which can (and does) erupt now and then. This is where the metaphor of malignant cancer comes in. Our politicians should be investing their energies into solving this deadly disease. Because all the rest of the nonsense that happens is a symptom of this. You quit the divisive agenda, and with time, communal hatred will get diluted. But is there a political will to get to the root of the problem? Nope, there isn’t.


Which is why threatening to block the social media is a joke. The time has come for the super-excited chicken to get its head back.




PS: Ah! Finally, a cool way to test a person’s creativity skills. Here’s what I suggest you do, if work in an agency creative department: All those clients, client servicing dudes and account planners who think they are more creative than you, ask them to take this test. If they score high marks, great! If they f miserably, they’ll quit telling you what to do. 🙂




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