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Updated on: Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 09:30 AM IST

Twitter loses intermediary platform status in India over non-compliance with new IT rules

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Microblogging platform Twitter has lost its status as an intermediary platform in India as it does not comply with new IT rules, government sources told news agency ANI on Wednesday.

Sources further told ANI that Twitter is the only social media platform among the mainstream that has not adhered to the new laws.

Twitter on Tuesday said it has appointed an interim Chief Compliance Officer and the details of the official will be shared directly with the IT Ministry soon.

The move came after the government had given one last chance to Twitter to comply with the new IT rules, as the microblogging platform had not made immediate appointments of key personnel, mandated under the new guidelines that came into effect on May 26.

Following this, the US-based company had assured the Indian government last week that it is in the advanced stages of finalising the appointment of a chief compliance officer, and that it would submit additional details within a week.

A Twitter spokesperson on Tuesday said the company continues to make every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and is keeping the IT Ministry apprised of 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, the spokesperson added.

Twitter has had several face-offs with the Indian government over the past months, including during the farmers' protest and later when it tagged political posts of several leaders of the ruling party BJP as "manipulated media", triggering a sharp rebuke from the Centre. The last flashpoint was the delay in complying with the IT rules that mandate large digital platforms to undertake greater due diligence as well as appoint a grievance officer, a nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. These personnel have to be residents in India.

Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had on June 5 said that it had given Twitter one last notice to comply with the new rules concerning social media companies.

In its notice, IT Ministry had confronted Twitter for not providing information about the Chief Compliance Officer as required under the Rules. Also, resident grievance officer and the nodal contact person nominated by the company, is not an employee of Twitter Inc in India as prescribed in the rules, the ministry had said.

Further, the government contended that the office address in India mentioned by Twitter is that of a law firm, which is also not as per the rules. The Ministry had warned Twitter that such non-compliance will lead to "unintended consequences", including Twitter losing exemption from liability as intermediary under the IT Act.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

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Published on: Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 09:30 AM IST
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