New Delhi: American microblogging platform Twitter lost its status as an intermediary platform in India due to it not complying with the new IT rules, revealed government sources on Wednesday.
Sources also claimed that Twitter is the only social media platform among all the other top mainstream portals that has not adhered to Centre’s new IT laws.
On June 9, Twitter had written to the Government of India that it is taking every possible step to comply with the new guidelines concerning social media companies and has also appointed a nodal contractual person (NCP) and Resident Grievance Officer (RGO) on a contractual basis and was in advanced stages of “finalising the appointment to the role of chief compliance officer,” sources said.
Earlier on June 5, Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had said that it had given Twitter a final notice to comply with the new rules concerning social media companies.
The ministry said in the letter that the New Intermediary Guideline Rules have become effective from May 26.
“The provisions for significant social media intermediaries under the Rules have already come into force on May 26 2021 and it has been more than a week but Twitter has refused to comply with the provisions of these Rules. Needless to state, such non-compliance will lead to unintended consequences including Twitter losing exemption from liability as intermediary available under section 79 of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000. This has clearly been provided under rule 7 of the aforesaid Rules,” it said.
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.
Twitter has an estimated 1.75 crore users in India, as per data cited by the government recently.