Sinlung /
14 March 2012

Facebook Blocks 'Chutia', is Twitter Next?

New Delhi: If you are a "Chutia", your Facebook account might get blocked! No pun intended. This is what Facebook is doing these days.

Of late, Facebook reportedly blocked accounts of almost all the members of the All Assam Chutia Students' Union (Aacsu), confusing their surname "Chutiya" with Hindi slang. However, Chutiya, pronounced as Sutiya, is the name of a community in Assam.

But "Chutiya, or Chutia" is also a derogatory term in Hindi. And that's what Facebook must have presumed before deleting those accounts.

Facebook blocks 'Chutiyas', is Twitter next?
"Facebook has blocked the accounts of all the subscribers belonging to the Chutia community of Assam thinking the names are false and fabricated. For Chutia being an abusive word in the Hindi language, Facebook authorities thought that the account holders are fake and fabricated. But, they are still unknown to the fact that Chutia is an ethnic tribe of Assam which has a rich historical background in the state history," Firstpost quoted Jyotiprasad Chutia, Aacsu general secretary, as saying.

Facebook always insists that the users register themselves with their real name else the action will be taken against those using a pseudonym. But the latest move by Facebook is nothing but a result of its sheer ignorance. However, Facebook's goal may be to become an international verified identity service, but its desired project to become a network of real-named people is halted when the network spreads into cultures and languages where the company lacks expertise. And that's what has happened in this Chutiya incident!
If Facebook can not bear to have profiles with derogatory words on its site, then what about the pages with such names? There are many pages with lewd names on Facebook like "Ye kya Bakchodi hai?" that has over 94,000 subscribers, "Daaru Pi Daaru Bakchodi mat kar (Drink whiskey & stop being non-sense)", "Jab kismat ho Gaandu, to kya kare Pandu", "ye kya chutiyapa hai" with approx. 60,000 subscribers, and many others. These pages have existence on Facebook for quite long. And practically, most of the content posted on these sites are quite humour-driven, and not libidinous.

However, Google+ recently relaxed its real name policy to pseudonyms. Also, Twitter also does not ban users for having pseudonyms. But if one day, all the social networking giants continue this trend of removing fake names and become stringent with their real name policies, then there are many pages and accounts across these social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+, which might get deleted.
These also include the twitter account @BollywoodGaandu, which actually tweets about Hindi film gossips, @GhantaGuy, @SabChutiyapahai, and other such accounts on Twitter.

Besides, one more concern here is that will Facebook also remove the pages of companies and institutes whose acronyms come out to be dirty. One such example is Tamilnadu Advanced Technical Training Institute (TATTI). Though there are many other possibilities.

Thus, it is suggested that the social networking websites should focus more on the content than names. If something is to be removed, it should be based on the content being posted, not on the basis of profile or page names.

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