Twitter is now following India’s new internet rules, government tells Delhi court
Key employees have now been appointed in Twitter India following the requirements under the new legislation.
According to a lawyer representing the federal government who informed a Delhi court, Twitter is now complying with the new internet rules in the country. As per a report by Bloomberg, Twitter has appointed a permanent employee to serve as the chief compliance officer and as a grievance officer, and another to serve as a nodal officer. These three appointments were required to be filled as per the new internet rules that were announced in the country in February. The social media platform announced that that the appointments were made earlier this month.
While Google and Facebook have reportedly been complying with these new internet rules since May this year, Twitter has been dealing with a tough face-off with the Indian government till now. In June this year, the government warned Twitter of “unintended consequences” if it failed to comply with the new rules and then in July the government said that the platform had “lost its legal immunity for users' posts” due to non-compliance. Later in July, Delhi High Court “took issue” with Twitter's attempt to fill in two of the three legally required positions through a third-party contractor.
The government has also been “unhappy” with Twitter's moderation policies and in May this year, police raided Twitter's offices after a tweet from a government official was labeled as “manipulated media”. On the other hand, Twitter has been complying with moderation requests from the government and suspended more than 500 accounts, and also reduced the visibility of some hashtags in February this year, some of which had links to the ongoing farmers' protests. Responding to legal threats, Twitter also censored some tweets that were critical of how the government handled the pandemic in the country.
Now, while Twitter has been trying to play by the rules, Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp has sued the government over parts of the new legislation. WhatsApp has objected to a requirement in the rules that requires it to "trace the origin of messages on its platform” and has argued that it is unconstitutional and “severely undermines the privacy” of users. That matter is still ongoing.
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