No plans to block any social media platform, Parliament told
- Chandrasekhar, however, said that under the provision of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, the government blocks online content that it deems 'malicious'
Union minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Thursday said that the government is not planning to block any social media platform in India. “At present, the government has no plan to block any social media platform in the country,” Chandrasekhar said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
Chandrasekhar, however, said that under the provision of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, the government blocks online content that it deems malicious keeping in mind "the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order".
He said the government is in regular interaction with social media platforms on matters related to the accountability of social media companies, the safety of social media users. Chandrasekhar said that the government is aware that certain social media users create hate and ill-will among people. He expressed the belief that no social media platform or any other intermediary can destroy India's democracy.
“Indian democracy has its bedrock in its Constitution and constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights for every citizen. No social media platform or any other intermediary can destroy our democracy,” the Union minister said.
“The government receives various grievances from users about hate content on social media platforms and responds to them in an appropriate way,” Chandrasekhar said adding that the government issues advisories to social media intermediaries regularly to ensure safety and accountability.
Chandrasekhar also stressed that social media companies have to follow the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, and Rules but maintained that the government aims to ensure ‘free, fair, open and trusted Internet’. He said the government wants to build an enabling and investor-friendly policies and environment in the country.