Twitter has lost indemnity in India over non-compliance with IT rules despite repeated reminders. The platform will now be liable for action under the Indian Penal Code for third-party unlawful content, said sources. As a consequence, the company no longer enjoys legal protection from prosecution over posts from its users.
Earlier this month, Twitter and other social media intermediaries were supposed to comply with the rules by May 25 but were delayed as they blamed the coronavirus-induced lockdown and other challenges in complying with the provisions. That makes Twitter the only tech company that has not complied with the IT rules and other tech companies such as Facebook, Youtube and WhatsApp still relish legal protection.
Twitter named in the Police Case.
The Ghaziabad Police filed a First Information Report (FIR) against nine entities, including Twitter India. Thus, Twitter can face charges for third party content. The case is related to an alleged assault on an elderly Muslim man on June 5. Therefore, the firm accused of not removing ‘misleading content’ linked to that incident and preventing the video from getting viral.
Twitter said it had appointed Compliance Officer
Twitter on Tuesday said it appointed an interim Chief Compliance Officer and would soon share the details with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Hence, complying with the new IT rules that have given as one last chance to Twitter.
Moreover, the company “continues to make every effort” to comply with the new guidelines and is keeping the ministry updated on progress at every step of the process, a spokesperson for the company has reportedly said.
Earlier, the IT ministry had said in its notice and criticized the social media firm. “Twitter has doggedly refused to create a mechanism that will authorize the citizens of India to resolve their issues on the platform in a timely and transparent manner (sic) and through a fair process, by India based, clearly identified resources.”
However, if Twitter Inc did not comply with the new IT rules then it would lead to “unexpected consequences”. Including Twitter losing indemnity from liability as an intermediary under the IT Act, the Ministry had warned Twitter.
New IT rules states that
The new digital rules require significant social media intermediaries, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram to aid in identifying the “first originator” of “unlawful” messages. Also, requiring social media networks to take down such demeaning messages within a specific time frame.
It states, that social media firms, those with more than 50 lakh users, are required to set up grievance redressal mechanisms as well as assist government agencies in the investigation. The personnel have to be residents in India. Moreover, The social media intermediaries have three months for compliance.