New Delhi: The Union Government on Saturday sent a final notice to Twitter to comply with its new IT rules, warning the company that failure to do so will lead to ‘unintended consequences’.
“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with the rules, failing which the exemption from liability available under section 79 of the IT Act, 2000, shall stand withdrawn and Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India,” the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology wrote to Twitter.
Pointing out that the grievance and nodal officers appointed by the company are not employees of Twitter India, the Government notice addressed to Jim Baker, Twitter’s deputy general counsel and vice president, legal, said: “The officer address of Twitter Inc as mentioned by you is that of a law firm in India, which is also not as per the rules.”
The Centre issued a set of rules on February 25 to regulate social media companies.
The ‘Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021’ regulations require these platforms to appoint chief compliance officers to make sure the rules are followed, nodal officers to coordinate with law enforcement agencies and grievance officers.
The IT rules also require social media platforms with over 50 lakh users to help identify the “originator” of messages on the government’s request.
May 26 was the last day for social media companies to comply with the regulations.
“The refusal to comply demonstrates Twitter’s lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India on its platform,” the notice added. “Despite being operational in India for more than a decade, it is beyond belief that Twitter Inc has doggedly refused to create mechanisms that will enable people of India to resolve their issues on the platform in a timely and transparent manner.”
Interestingly, Twitter earlier in the day briefly removed the blue check mark from the personal handle of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu.
The blue tick which is displayed on a user’s profile is seen as verification of the account’s legitimacy.