Youth Ki Awaaz recently ran a week long poll, asking YOU about your opinions on censorship, piracy and internet freedom – and the results are out.
We started the poll with a basic question about how the internet was contributing to a regular, everyday youths’ opinion formation, and the result, as we expected, is as follows:
87% of the respondents felt that internet does contribute to their opinion formation process and plays an important role.
The next question we asked was a direct jump to whether young respondents had ever engaged in promoting offensive/funny photographs of Government employees, such as the Prime Minister, and surprisingly (or may be not), a good 45% of the respondents had engaged in promoting such content.
There are two further thoughts which can be attached to this question:
1) Nearly half of the respondents think and believe that making fun of someone like the Indian Prime Minister is either okay, or just a fun activity.
2) Should the people really not have some respect for the head of the Cabinet of Ministers in India? Or has he lost it all?
There can be umpteen debates on these topics, but it is clear that nearly half of the respondents have been engaging in the promotion of offensive content online – about high level Government employees and ministers.
Our next question, much related to the previous one, was about whether the Government should be allowed to remove such offensive content. The reasons could be many: From bad image of the country’s Governance being promoted to personal attacks and derogatory remarks without much investigation. However, the results make it very clear that the Government must not be allowed to remove such content from the internet:
We changed tracks with the next question and moved to a more current topic of the recent blocking of websites such as The Pirate Bay and other file sharing portals. While a majority of the people completely believe that piracy is a very serious offense, surprisingly (or not), and disappointingly, a majority also think that piracy must go on. 64% of the respondents feel that piracy is an offence, and 59% also feel that piracy must go on:
Our next question was about Government intervention in what people should surf or not. And as we thought, the results were as follows:
While 82% respondents thought that the Government must not tell the users what to surf or not, there were 18% respondents who do believe that the Government does have the right to tell us what to surf or not.
The Indian Government also blocked websites like Vimeo and Pastebin, which have nothing to do with Piracy. This brought us to the question of out-rightly banning and taking down websites without public consent and debate.
87% of you believed that websites must NOT be allowed to do so, and that there must be a discussion and public consent must be taken.
Our last question concluded to one fact: Does the Indian Government feel under pressure due to the increased awareness on critical issues because of social media usage of voicing opinions, and just as we thought, 79% of the respondents gave a big fat YES to this as seen below:
Any thoughts on this poll? Want to add more opinions? Use the comments section below.
Total number of respondents: 1000, Duration of poll: 7 days.