Twitter Inc wrote to the Centre on Wednesday that, in compliance with the new IT Rules introduced by the government in February this year, it has appointed a Nodal Contact Person and a Resident Grievance Officer on a contractual basis as the company recruits to fill the positions on a permanent basis, Live Law reported.
The microblogging site further wrote that it is in the advanced stages of finalising the appointment of a Chief Compliance Officer as well and plans to provide additional details to the government soon, at the latest within a week.
“Twitter has been and remains deeply committed to India, and serving vital public conversation taking place on the service. We have assured the Government of India that Twitter is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines,” a Twitter Spokesperson told ANI.
The spokesperson also said that “an overview on our progress has been duly shared (with the Government of India). We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government.”
Amidst the ongoing spat between Twitter and the central government, a plea was filed in the Delhi High Court against Twitter India on May 28 for alleged non-compliance with the new IT Rules, seeking direction from the Centre to pass necessary instruction to Twitter Inc and its India office to appoint a resident grievance officer under Rule 4 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules 2021, without further delay.
During a hearing on May 31, Twitter had issued a statement saying that it would “strive to comply” with Indian laws in response to a notice issued by the Delhi High Court for the microblogging site’s non-compliance with the new IT Rules and told the Delhi High Court that in compliance with the new IT Rules, it had appointed a resident grievance officer on May 28.
On February 25, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) introduced the new IT Rules to regulate content in OTT platforms, social media intermediaries and digital news media, which were slated to come into effect on May 25.
According to the new IT Rules, social media intermediaries including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube have to establish a ‘grievance redressal mechanism’ for receiving and resolving complaints from users or victims, remove child pornography, videos relating to rape or any kind of nudity and remove or disable access to such content within 24 hours of receiving complaints. It will have to identify the originator of disputed content without providing any information to the originator. WhatsApp LLC, the company owned by Facebook, recently filed a complaint against this rule at the Delhi High Court, claiming that it violates the privacy of its users.
The new IT Rules mandate social media intermediaries to appoint officers who are Indian citizens to key compliance roles that have oversight over the additional due diligence required for removal of content. Abiding by the new IT Rules will also hold “significant” social media intermediaries accountable to Indian laws and in case they fail to adhere to the code, it will lead to their loss of protection from lawsuits and criminal prosecution.