According to sources, the microblogging site said it intends to comply with the rules but needs more time due to the pandemic situation in India.
“Twitter wrote to Meity asking for more time to comply with the IT rules. He has expressed his intention to comply with the rules but was unable to do so due to the pandemic,” a source said.
Twitter’s response comes after the government last week issued a strongly worded final notice to the company regarding its failure to comply with the new rules.
When contacted, a Twitter spokesperson said Twitter was and remains deeply committed to India and serving the vital public conversation that takes place on the service.
“We have assured the Indian government that Twitter is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and an overview of our progress has been duly shared. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian government,” the spokesperson said.
In its opinion, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said that Twitter’s refusal to comply with the rules demonstrated the “microblogging site’s” lack of commitment and effort to to provide a safe experience for Indian people on its platform “. .
“Although it has been operational in India for over a decade, it is incredible that Twitter Inc has stubbornly refused to create a mechanism that will allow the Indian people to resolve their issues on the platform in a timely and transparent manner and by through fair processes, by clearly identified India-based resources, ”the ministry said.
New IT rules for social media companies that went into effect last month are forcing big platforms like Facebook and Twitter to undertake more due diligence and make those digital platforms more accountable for the content they host.
The rules also require that major social media intermediaries – providing mostly messaging-type services – can identify the “first sender” of information that undermines India’s sovereignty, state security. or public order.
Under the rules, major social media intermediaries – those with more than 50 lakhs of users – are required to appoint a grievance manager, a nodal manager, and a compliance officer. These personnel must be resident in India.
Additionally, social media companies will be required to remove flagged content within 36 hours and remove flagged content within 24 hours for issues such as nudity and pornography.
In accordance with the ministry’s opinion, although as of May 26, 2021, “consequences ensue” given the violation of the rules by Twitter, “as a sign of goodwill, Twitter Inc. is hereby put on notice to comply immediately with the rules, failing which the liability exemption available … will be withdrawn and Twitter will be liable for the consequences in accordance with the Computer Law and other criminal laws of India “.
However, the notice did not mention a specific date for the microblogging site to comply with the rules.
Failure to comply with the rules would cause these platforms to lose their status as an intermediary, which gives them immunity from liability with regard to the third-party data they host. In other words, they could be subject to criminal prosecution if there are complaints.
According to the central government, the new rules are designed to prevent abuse and misuse of platforms, and provide users with a solid forum for resolving grievances.