Internet companies have come under pressure from India’s Supreme Court to justify carrying advertisements for gender selection products:
“India bans tests that allow people to know the gender of unborn children – a law designed to tackle widespread abortion of female foetuses. ‘These companies are making a lot of money by doing highly targeted and selective advertising of these products,’ said Sabu George, an activist leading the campaign…
‘The court has issued a notice to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo asking them to reply to our petition,’ said Sanjay Parikh, a lawyer who lodged the complaint. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says India loses 7,000 girls every day through abortion. Campaigners say the courts have intervened in the past to block newspaper advertisements of sex selection tests. Mr Parikh said the petition had been submitted along with letters from the government in which it agrees that the Internet advertisements are illegal.”
Gender selection is illegal in India under the 1994 ‘Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection)’ Act. Whilst I agree with the aims of the activists, and it is likely that the activists will succeed, to what extent should ISPs be held responsible for all their content? In India they usually are considered to be responsible.
Update: Galloise Blonde points out a good article on India’s gender bias.
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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,India,South Asia,Technology