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Microsoft cleared in web filth court battle, wins $100 compo

Ruled not a social network - in your face Yahoo!

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Microsoft has been cleared of wrongdoing in a high-profile court case alleging it and scores of other web companies hosted “objectionable content” - and even managed to get the plaintiff fined by the judge.

The case, which was brought by Fatwa-Online founder Mufti Aijas Arshad Quasmi, is being heard in New Delhi, India.

Quasmi alleged that social networking companies including Google, Facebook and others are wantonly harbouring socially, religiously and politically offensive material that will do nothing but corrupt the moral integrity of the country.

However, displaying an uncanny grasp of technology matters, the judge dropped Microsoft from the case after deciding it was the “odd man out” and definitely not a social network, according to a Times of India report.

"I am unable to understand how could Microsoft India be included in a bracket which lists social networking websites. It is a company engaged in development and sale of softwares and computing solutions etc,” civil judge Parveen Singh said.

"It is not a website which provides a platform to the people where they can interact with each other and post or publish their views on various issues or subjects.”

Singh ordered Quasmi to compensate Microsoft to the tune of 5,000 rupees (£64, $101) as a result.

Microsoft has, of course, dabbled with this social Web 2.0 malarky, launching its so.cl networking platform for students last year, although that’s not available in India as yet.

The decision could give Yahoo! some hope in its battle to similarly be dropped from the case. The web firm filed a strongly worded complaint last week arguing it had been a victim of “an abuse of the process of law”.

It will find out on 5 March whether it was successful, although given that Yahoo! has spent many years trying to make its services more social and personal, spending millions of marketing dollars in the process, it may struggle to persuade the judge that it is not a social network.

Facebook, meanwhile, has claimed it isn’t responsible for user-generated content on its site, while Google has 'fessed up and removed any offending content. ®

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