India has asked operators of social media networks, including Facebook, Google (GOOG.O
) and Yahoo (YHOO.O) to screen user content from the country and prevent any “disparaging, inflammatory or defamatory” content from getting published, local media reported on Tuesday.
Telecoms minister Kapil Sibal met executives at those companies on Monday to ask them to implement a monitoring mechanism, but no solution was reached, the reports said.
Sibal is expected to address the media later on Tuesday.
A source with direct knowledge of the development told Reuters that a meeting did take place, adding, the government often asks the companies to remove objectionable content.
A Google spokeswoman declined to comment, when contacted by Reuters, while a spokeswoman for Facebook’s external communication could not be reached.
Yahoo India could not offer any immediate comments.
A New York Times report on Monday said Sibal had called the same executives about six weeks ago and had shown them a Facebook page that maligned ruling Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi and told them it was “unacceptable”.
An official at the ministry of communication and information technology cited Sibal as saying that India does not believe in censorship, but in self-regulation.
The Hindustan Times newspaper said the companies told Sibal that it was impossible to meet his demands given the sheer volume of user-generated content from India.
India now has 100 million Internet users, less than a tenth of the country’s population of 1.2 billion, but still the third-largest user base behind China and the United States. It is seen swelling to 300 million users in the next three years.
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy in NEW DELHI and Shilpa Jamkhandikar in MUMBAI; writing by Anurag Kotoky; editing by Malini Menon)
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India has formally released the ‘National Voluntary Guidelines for the Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business, 2011” on 8th July 2011.
The guidelines have 9 basic principles as listed below.
- Businesses should conduct and govern themselves with Ethics, Transparency and Accountability
- Businesses should provide goods and services that are safe a and contribute to sustainability throughtout their lifecycle
- Businesses should promote the well being of all employees
- Businesses should respect the interests of, and be responsive towards all stakeholders, especially those who are disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised
- Businesses should respect and promote human rights
- Businesses should respect, protect, and make efforts to restore the environment
- Businesses, when engaged in Influencing public and regulatory policy, should do so in a responsible manner
- Businesses should support Inclusive growth and equitable development
- Businesses should engage with and provide value to their customers and consumers in a responsible manner
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