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Instead of porn govt blocking consumer complaint website RipoffReport!

Dailybhaskar.com | Last Modified - Jul 29, 2013, 01:40 PM IST

Indian government is now busy reacting to consumer complaint forums by blocking them.
  • Instead of porn govt blocking consumer complaint website RipoffReport!
    Instead of porn govt blocking consumer complaint website RipoffReport!

    While India is still to find a way to block porn content on Internet, it is now busy reacting to consumer complaint forums by blocking them.

    In a latest move the Indian government has blocked the consumer complaint website RipoffReport.com from access. The website at the time of reporting the news is blocked on Reliance, Airtel, MTNL and Vodafone.

    The RipoffReport website allows users who are above the age of 14 to post free, un-moderated and uncorroborated complaints known as 'reports' which contain details of the user's experience with the company or individual listed in the report. The site requires users to create an account which includes an unconfirmed email address before reports can be submitted.

    The page is not accessible from India. Do a search on RipoffReport.com India and you will know there has been comments posted on India Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Central Information Commission.

    “This block is particularly relevant because it comes at a time when MouthShut.com, which provides a similar consumer feedback service in India, has begun legal proceedings in India’s Supreme Court against the IT Rules, which are being used to inhibit freedom of speech in India” reports Medianama.

    In April this year suffered a legal setback when the Bombay High Court ruled in favour of Sharda University against some user reviews critical of it. The comments were posted on Mouthshut. The court directed Mouthshut to delete these comments. The portal filed a Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India in the Supreme Court, inter-alia for quashing the IT Rules (Intermediaries Guidelines), 2011 and declaring them violative of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. “We are pleading with the highest court in the land to protect the rights of Indian citizens, consumers that are granted by the Constitution of India,” said Faisal Farooqui, the Chief Executive Officer of MouthShut.com.

    The news really is disappointing as it shows misplaced priorities on the part of the government. While the websites offering porn content like ovguide.com are easily accessible in India after one accepts mature content warning, but forums where one can post opinion or experience about a product or service is blocked.

    Is it the government blocking people's opinion or it is the corporates who don’t want to see negative reviews? The fact of the matter will remain unknown until DoT comes up with reasons, or the message itself reflects the reason.

    The blocking was pointed at the tech mailing list india-gii.

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Web Title: Instead of porn govt blocks consumer complaint website RipoffReport
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