Twitter continues to make efforts to comply with the new IT norms in India with the appointment of the interim Compliance Office. The details to follow soon.
In a bid to comply with the new IT rules, Twitter has recently appointed an Interim Chief Compliance Officer for India. The development came after the Indian government had sent a notice to the social media giant earlier this month to comply with the new IT norms. Under the mandate that came into effect on 26th May 2021, digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, amongst others were supposed to make key appointments to help address/tackle the issue of misinformation across the nation.
In a statement made to Social Samosa, a Twitter spokesperson said, “We are keeping the MeitY apprised of the progress at every step of the process. An interim Chief Compliance Officer has been retained and details will be shared with the Ministry directly soon. Twitter continues to make every effort to comply with the new Guidelines”.
As a response on 7th June 2021, Twitter shared that it has appointed a Nodal Contact Person and a Resident Grievance Office on a contractual basis, and the company is making recruitments to fill the positions on a permanent basis. As per the job descriptions for the three positions, the recent appointments should be full-time roles located in India and the candidates must be residents of India.
The chief compliance officer will be responsible for liaising between the company and government agencies on all kinds of legal requests received from various law enforcement organizations and government agencies relating to the platform.
The grievance officer will be responsible for overseeing the grievance redressal mechanism of complaints from people who use Twitter services in India.
The nodal officer will be responsible for coordination with the law enforcement and government agencies in India to oversee the process of responding to reports, orders, and complaints.
On 5th June 2021, the ministry had sent its final notice to Twitter that shared ‘consequences follow’ if the platform fails to adhere to the new IT norm. It said, “As a gesture of goodwill, Twitter Inc is hereby given one last notice to immediately comply with the rules, failing which the exemption from liability available under Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000, shall stand withdrawn and Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India.”
India stands to be an important market for the platform as per its website. But many face-offs in the recent past have added to the speculation of Twitter losing its legal indemnity in India owing to non-adherence to the IT rules. Reports also indicate that Twitter becomes the only American platform to have lost the protective shield under Section 79 of the IT Act.
“There are numerous queries arising as to whether Twitter is entitled to safe harbor provision. However, the simple fact of the matter is that Twitter has failed to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines that came into effect from the 26th of May,” shared Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad through a tweet.
As the way forward, a meeting will be held in the Parliament where safeguarding the citizens’ rights will be discussed in the presence of Twitter representatives, officials of the Ministry of Information and Technology, and the committee members. Twitter has even been asked to appear and present its views on the prevention and misuse of the platforms as per the notice.