Going against its earlier proposal to "pre-screen" content on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the government stated on Thursday that it had no plan to censor Internet, even as it sought the help of social media companies to reach out to people.
Communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal held meetings with representatives of various Internet platforms, including Google, Facebook and Twitter on Thursday.
"There is no question of censoring Internet. Whatever law has to be made is already in place. The government is committed to abiding by whatever is included in the Constitution, which is freedom of speech and expression. We protect that with a lot of energy," said Sachin Pilot, minister of state for communication and IT, after the meeting.
Last week, Sibal had said that objectionable material should not be posted on Internet and wanted the content to be "pre-screened" by companies that provided social media platforms. Sibal, who left the meeting after 30 minutes, said the government wanted an open dialogue between social media companies and various government departments, including the external affairs ministry and the department of information technology.
"How does the social media use its own platform to ensure that the voice of the marginalised is heard by the government, which otherwise, sometimes, is not heard," said Sibal. "So, we want a constructive dialogue that helps them to empower us when we move forward in our decision-making," he added.
The meeting also discussed the use of social media platforms for disaster management.