Google, Microsoft, Facebook face Prosecution in India over Inflammatory Images

A number of internet giants including Facebook, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google are being dragged into court by Indian prosecutors after the companies refused to remove controversial content from their respective sites.

Apparently, all these companies were asked by the authorities to remove all content considered to be derogatory to religious and political leaders, and other material that could create antagonism across the land.

One such image is a fake picture depicting the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and leader of the ruling party, Sonia Gandhi, in a compromising position. Some other controversial content shows pigs running through Mecca- the holy city for Muslims who make up 10-15 percent of the population.

The federal government briefed a New Delhi court late last week that there was enough material to take legal action against a total of 21 sites for "promoting enmity between classes and causing prejudice to national integration," Business Week reports.

In December 2011, Telecommunication Minister Kapil Sibal announced that he had met the officials from the top Internet companies multiple times in the previous three months to convince them to come up with a voluntary framework for filtering objectionable material on their sites.

However, according to Sibal, the companies told him that there was hardly anything they could do in that regard.