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Twitter loses legal protection in India for failure to comply with new IT rules

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 • Tamil Comments
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Social media platform Twitter has lost its intermediary status in India because of its failure to comply with the new IT rules. Government sources also said that Twitter is the only one among the mainstream social media platforms which has refused to adhere to the new laws.

Twitter, however, had maintained that as per one of the rules, the company had appointed an interim chief compliance officer and that it will soon share the details with the government. "We have assured the Government of India that Twitter is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and an overview of our progress has been duly shared. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government," a Twitter spokesperson had reportedly said.

As per the new IT rules, "non-compliance can lead to the social media platform concerned about losing their intermediary status and the platforms could also be liable for criminal action in case of a complaint. Intermediary status provides these platforms the immunity from liabilities over any third-party data hosted by them."

The Indian government on February 25 released a new set of guidelines to regulate social media and OTT platforms. The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 was reportedly issued amidst growing concerns around lack of transparency, accountability, and rights of users related to digital media, according to a statement by the government.

The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITy) had then given a duration of three months to the social platforms to comply with the new IT rules, including appointing at least three officers for grievance redressal and following a specific code of conduct that has been criticised over violating the principles of free speech.


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