Facebook and Google have both been forced to remove content following a court directive in India. The two companies have removed material from their Indian domains that was considered offensive to Hindus, Muslims and Christians, after a court in New Delhi ruled today that certain images were deemed objectionable. Google confirmed it had disabled some content from its Indian versions of search, YouTube and Blogger, but refused to detail the content involved. Facebook has not issued a comment on its content removal.
The issue has raised the question of censorship in India as the lawsuit demands that internet companies screen content before it is posted. 19 other companies have also been accused of violating Indian laws in the same case, after the country passed a law last year making web companies responsible for user-posted content. Most websites remain uncensored despite the rules, and the internet firms involved argue that they are not responsible for "obscene, objectionable, and defamatory" content. Nevertheless, a lower court in New Delhi has informed the companies that they must detail how they have blocked offensive content within 15 days.