Major social media companies including Google, WhatsApp, and Facebook have submitted compliance details with the IT Ministry Twitter as per the requirement of the new digital rules. However, Twitter is yet to follow the norms, a Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) source said.
Twitter has not sent details of their Chief Compliance Officer for the India market — a key requirement under the new IT Rules and instead, shared details of a lawyer working in a law firm as a nodal contact person and grievance officer.
On Wednesday, The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) had requested all significant social media intermediaries, having over 50 lakh registered users in India, to share details of compliance at the earliest possible.
To this, significant social media intermediaries like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Telegram, Koo, and LinkedIn shared the details as per the requirement of the IT norms (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code,2021) that came into effect this week.
The U.S.-headquartered Twitter, on Thursday, raised concerns over some requirements under the new IT rules, including making an individual (the compliance officer of that company) criminally liable for content on the platform. The platform also pointed out that the requirements for proactive monitoring and the blanket authority to seek information about its customers represent a threat to freedom of open, public speech. The company also called out the visit by Delhi Police to its office as a form of intimidation.
The government, in response, called the statement false, baseless, and also said that the micro-blogging platform had sought to sabotage India’s legal system through its actions and also made attempts to defame the country while the Delhi Police stated it as mendacious to obstruct a lawful inquiry.
According to the Centre, the new rules are designed so as to prevent the abuse and misuse of social media platforms, while offering the users a strong forum for grievance redressal. It also mentioned that if any of these companies failed to act in accordance with the rules, they would result losing their intermediary status in India. This means that they will be inhibited from liabilities over any third-party data hosted by them and can be made liable for criminal action in case of any complaint.
Late-night yesterday, Twitter sent a communication late last night, sharing details of a lawyer working in a law firm in India as their Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer. However, the company has not sent the details of the Chief Compliance Officer.
The new norms require the social media platforms to provide details of three key officials appointed.