New Delhi: Amid a furious debate on Twitter and several international reports, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal today acknowledged that he has asked Internet firms like Google and Facebook to ensure user content is screened before offensive material is posted online.
After Mr Sibal's statement, Web users continued to speak out against any proposed restriction on posting of content. Several tweets and reactions criticised the minister.
When contacted, Facebook's India office shared this statement:
"We want Facebook to be a place where people can discuss things freely, while respecting the rights and feelings of others, which is why we have already have policies and on-site features in place that enable people to report abusive content. We will remove any content that violates our terms, which are designed to keep material that is hateful, threatening, incites violence or contains nudity off the service. We recognise the government's interest in minimising the amount of abusive content that is available online and will continue to engage with the Indian authorities as they debate this important issue." (Read: Facebook's rules for what it allows online)
Meanwhile, in a statement, Google's spokesperson said, "We work really hard to make sure that people have as much access to information as possible, while also following the law. This means that when content is illegal, we abide by local law and take it down. And even where content is legal, but violates our own terms and conditions, we take that down too, once we've been notified. But when content is legal and doesn't violate our policies, we won't remove it just because it's controversial, as we believe that people's differing views, so long as they're legal, should be respected and protected ."