Twitter says it is making every effort to comply with new IT rules

Twitter has responded to the government saying it was making every effort to comply with the new IT rules after the Saturday’s missive where India had given
one “last chance” to the microblogging platform to comply with the new Intermediary Guidelines.

“We have assured the Government of India that Twitter is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and an overview on our progress has been duly shared. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government,” a Twitter spokesperson said.

Sources told ET that Twitter has responded to the government letter.

When asked, government sources however said there is no update on the issue right now.

News wire agency Press Trust of India quoting an unnamed source saying that Twitter had
sought more time to comply with the new IT rules due to the pandemic situation in India.

“Twitter has written to Meity seeking more time to comply with the IT rules. It has expressed its intent to comply with the rules but has been unable to do so because of the pandemic,” PTI reported quoting an unnamed source.

The ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) had sent a letter to Twitter on Saturday warning Twitter to comply with the IT Rules and said that it would lose its intermediary status in the country and be liable for the content on its site under the IT Act and the Indian Penal Code.

MeitY stated that despite two prior warnings and a week since the new IT rules came into effect, Twitter had failed to appoint a chief compliance office, nodal officer and grievance officer employed directly by the company in India. Instead, it has provided the contact of a law firm as its physical address in India, which is not in accordance with the rules, said the letter reviewed by ET.

The response from Twitter comes after the government, last week, issued a strongly-worded final notice to the company regarding its non-compliance with the new rules.

In its notice, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had said that Twitter’s refusal to comply with the rules demonstrated the micro-blogging site’s “lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India on its platform”.

“Despite being operational in India for more than a decade, it is beyond belief that Twitter Inc has doggedly refused to create mechanism that will enable the people of India to resolve their issues on the platform in a timely and transparent manner and through fair processes, by India based, clearly identified resources,” the ministry had said.

India is the third-largest market in terms of users for Twitter. As of January, nearly 17.5 million people from the country were on the microblogging platform, according to data platform Statista. The company has 192 million daily active users globally. In April, Twitter had called out India as a “priority” market and one of the fastest growing, globally. It hired former Uber executive Apurva Dalal to head its engineering centre in Bengaluru, where it looks to finetune its products capability.

The new IT rules for social media companies that came into effect last month mandate large platforms like Facebook and Twitter to undertake greater due diligence and make these digital platforms more accountable and responsible for the content hosted by them.


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