Twitter approaches Government for more time to comply with new IT rules

FILE - This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. Twitter announced Monday, May 11, 2020, it will warn users with a label when a tweet contains disputed or misleading information about the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Popular Social Networking site Twitter has approached the government requesting more time to comply with the new IT rules. As per reports, the site has said that it intends to comply with the rules but it needs more time due to the deadly situation in India caused by the pandemic.

According to what a source has said, Twitter wrote to the Supreme Court seeking for more time to comply with the IT rules. It has further expressed its intent to comply with the rules but states that it has been unable to do so because of the current Covid situation in the country.

Last week, the Government issued a very strict “Final Notice’ to Twitter regarding its non-compliance with the new rules after which Twitter have sent the mentioned response.

A spokesperson from the Social Media giant said, “Twitter has been and remains deeply committed to India, and serving the vital public conversation taking place on the service.”

He further adds, “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.”

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

The Ministry further adds, “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 new IT rules for social media and other digital companies came into effect last month that mandate  large platforms like Facebook and Twitter to make the digital platforms more accountable and responsible for the content that they reportedly hosts.

Under the new IT rules from the government, significant social media intermediaries with over 50 lakh users are required to appoint a grievance officer, a nodal officer and a chief compliance officer who must be residents in India. The new rules also adds that social media companies will have to take down flagged content within 36 hours, remove within 24 hours for issues such as nudity and pornography.

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Though with effect from May 26, 2021, “consequences follow” given Twitter’s non-compliance with rules, “as a gesture of goodwill, Twitter Inc is hereby given one last notice to immediately comply with the rules, failing which the exemption from liability available” shall stand withdrawn and Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India”, according to the noticed issued by the Ministry.

But the Ministry had not mention about any specific date for Twitter to comply with the rules in their notice.

Non-compliance with these new IT rules will result in these platforms losing their intermediary status and could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints.

According to what the central government said about the new IT rules, it is designed to prevent abuse and misuse of platforms, and offer users a robust forum for grievance.

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