- Despite government reminders, Twitter remained the only big social media intermediary that had not appointed the requisite executives in those roles.
- If intermediate status is removed, Twitter will be treated as a publisher and subject to any punishment under any law if a lawsuit is filed against it for alleged illicit content.
Twitter’s legal immunity in India has been revoked as a result of its failure to comply with new IT laws, as per ANI.
Citing a government source, the news agency stated, Twitter is the only mainstream social media platform that has not adhered to the new law.
If Twitter’s intermediate status is removed, it will be treated as a publisher and subjected to punishment under any law if a case is filed against it for alleged unlawful content.
Top executives from the microblogging site, including the country managing director, might face police inquiry and criminal liability under the IPC.
The news comes only hours after the Ghaziabad Police filed a FIR against nine organisations, including Twitter India, in connection with an incident in Loni in which a man was beat and his beard was cut.
The incident was given a communal colour without verification of facts, according to police, and Twitter did nothing to prevent the video from going viral.
Twitter had previously indicated that it has chosen an interim Chief Compliance Officer, and that the official’s details will be provided with the IT Ministry as soon as possible.
The move occurred after the government gave Twitter one last chance to comply with the new IT regulations, citing the microblogging platform’s failure to make immediate key personnel appointments.
Last week, the US-based corporation told the Indian government that it was nearing completion on the appointment of a chief compliance officer and that it would provide additional details within a week.
On Tuesday, a Twitter representative said the company is trying to make every effort to comply with the new guidelines and is keeping the IT ministry updated on its progress.
Over the last few months, Twitter has had multiple faceoffs with the Indian government, including during the farmers’ protest and later when it tagged political posts by many officials of the ruling party BJP as “manipulated media,” prompting a severe criticism from the government.
As per data released by the government recently, the microblogging site has an estimated 1.75 crore Indian users.
According to its website, India is a key market for the company, and it is one of the countries where it is testing a new approach of establishing an in-market team to “locally tailor” its global product to the region’s needs.
What does the new IT rules say
The new digital regulations require significant social media intermediaries — who mostly provide messaging services — to identify the “first originator” of information that undermines India’s sovereignty, security, or public order.
Significant social media intermediaries, defined as those with more than 50 lakh users, must employ a grievance officer, a nodal officer, and a chief compliance officer, according to the law. The personnel must be Indian citizens.
Social media companies will also be required to remove flagged content within 36 hours and content flagged for concerns such as nudity and pornography within 24 hours.