Social Media Vs Arindam Chaudhuri – IIPM


Recently, the Indian Department of Telecommunications(DoT),  as directed by a court in Gwalior, ordered the Internet Service Providers (ISPs)  to block 78 URLs. Out of these black listed URLs, 73 were linked to articles and blogs that hosted defamatory material against the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) and its director, Arindam Chaudhuri.

Several articles from leading credible newspapers and magazines, as well as blogs have been blocked.

Strangely, the 73 blacklisted URLs include a public notice of July 2012 issued by the University Grants Commission that cautioned the students that “IIPM is not a university within the meaning of section 2(f) of the UGC Act, 1956”.

UGC chairman, Dr Ved Prakash told HT that the public notice regarding the unrecognized status of IIPM is present on its website even now.

DoT did not clarify as to why this websites were blocked which gave a stern turn to the story making it viral on social media. The hashtag #IIPM was continually trending across the Indian Twitterverse.

This web block affected a lot of well-known publications such as The Times of India, Rediff, The Indian Express, FirstPost,The Economic Times, MensXP, Outlook Magazine, Careers360, etc. Not only are the publications affected, but also the influencers.

Mahesh Murthy, a renowned Investor, an influencer and the founder at Pinstorm – a well known social media agency, has been constantly updating and curating the whole story on Facebook as well as Twitter. He has also compiled and curated the set of blocked URLs on Bitly against IIPM.

I have not seen the Court order. But I am taken aback because by ordering blockage of the URL of UGC, the court has implied that UGC has committed libel. The Court has taken away all the protection UGC gave to students. Now, IIPM can fool them. I hope that somebody challenges the order in a higher court.

Murthy told Firstpost.

He has left no stone unturned in this story and has been constantly updating it on Social Platforms.

As a result, Mahesh received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice from Twitter asking him to take down his content.

However, Mahesh gave a stern reply to Anindam Chaudhari’s DMCA notice, requesting action to immediately restore full access to visibility of the document published, as doing otherwise would be clearly illegal under DMCA and the laws in force.

Interestingly, as the story continues as Mahesh Tweeted about 7 bots on Twitter that that seem to belong @Arindam_IIPM

However, according to a report on NDTV, The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) will appeal to the Gwalior court to vacate this order in the next hearing on February 28.

Now let us wait and watch how the story unfolds, hoping that it is in the favour of online freedom of speech for a robust democracy.

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