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IT Rules: Twitter assures compliance after losing intermediary legal protection

After Twitter lost its status as an intermediary platform in India, the microblogging platform on Wednesday said that it will continue to make every effort to comply with the government's new IT rules.

Twitter has assured the government that it will comply with the new IT Rules.  Twitter has assured the government that it will comply with the new IT Rules. 
Twitter has assured the government that it will comply with the new IT Rules.  (MINT_PRINT)

After Twitter lost its status as an intermediary platform in India, the microblogging platform on Wednesday said that it will continue to make every effort to comply with the government's new IT rules.

The Twitter spokesperson said that they are keeping the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology appraised at every step of the process and the Interim Chief Compliance Officer has been retained and details will be shared with Ministry directly soon.

"We're keeping Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) apprised of progress at every step of the process. The interim Chief Compliance Officer has been retained and details will be shared with Ministry directly soon. Twitter continues to make every effort to comply with new guidelines" said the Twitter spokesperson.

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Earlier today, government sources had said that Twitter has lost its status as an intermediary platform in India as it does not comply with new IT rules.

Now, instead of being considered just a platform hosting content from various users, Twitter will be held directly editorially responsible for posts published on its platform.

The implication of this development is that if there is any charge against Twitter for alleged unlawful content it would be treated as a publisher - not an intermediary - and be liable for punishment under any law, including IT Act, as also the penal laws of the country, sources stated.

Sources further said that Twitter is the only social media platform among the mainstream that has not adhered to the new laws.

Read more: Govt issues 'one last notice' to Twitter to comply with IT rules

Earlier on June 9, Twitter had written to the government that it is making every effort to comply with new guidelines concerning social media companies and has 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.

Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had on June 5 said that it had given Twitter one last 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.

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