In a bid to work out a middle ground with the social networking platforms over the issue of monitoring and filtering their content, Telecom Minister, Kapil Sibal, on behalf of the entire government, reportedly held open talks, yesterday. The agenda of these talks, according to a report in Times of India, was to seek suggestions as to how better social networking and e-governance can be used to empower the citizens of the country. 

Kapil wants to pre-screen the internet

Open talks with social networking platforms

The report further quoted Sibal as saying, “This discussion and this dialogue is about how the social media can empower government, because under the normal processes of government, there is always a limited dialogue with representatives of society because the means are limited. But with the social media platforms that are now in place, there is a huge expansion of the space within which the dialogue can take place and therefore, that expansion of space should be used by us as a bridge that will help government to be empowered through the citizens.

The talks also generated some prime questions on the functioning the social networking sites in India. One of the questions raised by Sibal read – “How does the social media use its own platform to ensure that the voice of the marginalised is heard by government, which otherwise sometimes is not heard?

However, it wasn't clear if the topic of removing derogatory or defamatory content from social networking sites was discussed. However, Sibal reportedly stressed that if social networking sites do not monitor their content, the government “will take appropriate steps“. 

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