(Reuters) - Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo said the company's recently announced online content policy was meant to be a transparent way to handle government requests for the removal of certain content and did not mean it is actively monitoring Tweets, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Twitter had said last week it would begin restricting Tweets in specific countries, renewing questions about how the social media platform will handle issues of free speech as it rapidly expands its global user base.
"There's been no change in our stance ... in respect to content on Twitter," Costolo said at the "Dive Into Media" conference hosted by the website All Things D, which is owned by News Corp, the Journal reported.
Costolo said Twitter would only block Tweets locally at a government's request and would leave the Tweet up for the rest of the world. In place of the pulled Tweet would be a message that the content was removed at the request of the local government, the Journal said.
Costolo said the policy is not meant as a means for the company to get into countries where it currently does not operate, such as China or Iran.
"I don't think the current environment in China is one in which we can operate," he added.
No-one at Twitter could immediately be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad; Editing by David Holmes)