Facebook, Google India Censorship Trial Postponed (…Again)

    May 4, 2012

Remember when the Delhi High Court rolled that ball of court orders demanding at tech companies like Facebook and Google for refusing to regulate incendiary and allegedly offensive content? That ball, yet again, continues to roll even slower and slower. And now, that legal ball is barely even turning over anymore: CNET is reporting today that, once again, the court has delayed proceedings against the companies have been delayed until August 7.

This is the latest in the long, buttered up slide to a court that’s stretched throughout 2012 due to numerous delays. It all started when India asked representatives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to screen user content due to it being offensive. Facebook and Google both responded, saying that they would only remove content so far as each company’s terms of service dictated but that was where they drew the line.

That was when India’s government decided to begin legal proceedings against the companies and a court date was set for February 6. The hearing was eventually postponed until March 13 but, in the meantime, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and other companies began to comply with the demands of India’s government, with Google eventually sending notice to the India’s courts that it had removed all of the inflammatory content.

March 13 eventually strolled by and then it kept strolling on by as India’s courts didn’t seem quite prepared for the hearing so it was postponed yet again until May 23. Supposing that the courts have realized that they should take some extra time to really make sure they don’t have anything else on their schedule and that everyone needed will be able to attend, the hearing was pushed back until August 7.

So, we’ll see if this hearing ever actually happens or if some or all parties eventually just lose interest in this legal drama – who knows, maybe they’ll figure out a non-courty way to settle this issue.