Recall few weeks ago when India Government take on numerous tech giants and Twitter became the worst hit. Having received backlash, Twitter immediately indicated willingness to comply with India’s new social media regulations known as the IT Act. Twitter in an attempt to comply with the country’s new technology laws and easy tension between them and the Indian Government appointed two new executives. Reports by Bloomberg say, one of the new executives is a chief compliance officer who will also serve the role of grievance officer, and the other is a nodal officer, both are required by the country’s Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code which took effect since May.
Twitter decided to quickly make this appointments a week after the Indian government found the social media platform’s efforts to comply with the new rules were insufficient. Under the rules, the companies is required to remove content within 36 hours of receiving a legal order. The country’s rule also requires such companies to have a grievance officer who acknowledges users’ complaints and grievances within 24 hours, a chief compliance officer, and a contact person who would be readily available to respond to law enforcement agencies all hours of the day.
In a hearing, the judge found that Twitter’s appointment of an employee through a third-party contractor to be the grievance and compliance officer was highly “unacceptable.” The rules require that officer to be a senior staff member. The government argued Twitter to have lost its legal immunity for failing to adhere to the new rules, making it legally liable for content posted by its users in India. In May, it was reported that Indian Police raided Twitter’s India offices after the platform labeled a government official’s tweets as “manipulated media.” Again in June, a government minister warned the platform there could be “unintended consequences” if it failed to comply with the new rules that have been laid down.
A representative of Twitter in Indian in an email says “We remain committed to safeguarding the voices and privacy of those using our service.” He added “We have taken significant steps towards compliance to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 and have kept the Indian Government closely informed of our progress”. The Indian government will now examine whether the appointments are per the rules, Solicitor representing the Federal Government, said during the hearing. The court will hear the case again on Aug. 10.
Other Tech companies including Google and Facebook have since also rolled out plans to align with the new directive, to forestall further animosity with the Indian state.