Govt gives 'one last chance' to Twitter to comply with new IT rules
New Delhi, June 05: The government has decided to send a "final and firm" communication to Twitter asking them to comply with existing law, failing which "resultant consequences as enjoined in law shall follow".
The move cames amid an escalating standoff with the platform between Twitter and the government following the brief removal of the "blue tick" verification badge from the personal account of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu since it had not been logged into for six months.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said that Twitter''s refusal to comply with the rules demonstrated the microblogging site''s "lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India on its platform".
"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 IT ministry said.
The ministry said that though with effect from May 26, 2021, "consequences follow" given Twitter''s non-compliance with rules "however, 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last notice to immediately comply with the rules, failing which the exemption from liability available...shall stand withdrawn and Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India."
The notice, however, did not given a specific deadline to comply with the rules.
If they fail to comply with the new rules, the social media giants may lose their status and protections as intermediaries and criminal action can be taken against them as per the laws of India.
New IT Rules, Regulations 2021 to be followed by social media platforms
Appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and Rules. Such a person should be a resident in India.
Appoint a Nodal Contact Person for 24x7 coordination with law enforcement agencies. Such a person shall be a resident in India.
Appoint a Resident Grievance Officer who shall perform the functions mentioned under Grievance Redressal Mechanism. Such a person shall be a resident in India.
Publish a monthly compliance report mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken on the complaints as well as details of contents removed proactively by the significant social media intermediary.
Voluntary User Verification Mechanism: Users who wish to verify their accounts voluntarily shall be provided an appropriate mechanism to verify their accounts and provided with demonstrable and visible mark of verification. Giving
Users An Opportunity to Be Heard: In cases where significant social media intermediaries removes or disables access to any information on their own accord, then a prior intimation for the same shall be communicated to the user who has shared that information with a notice explaining the grounds and reasons for such action. Users must be provided an adequate and reasonable opportunity to dispute the action taken by the intermediary.
Removal of Unlawful Information: An intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge in the form of an order by a court or being notified by the Appropriate Govt. or its agencies through authorized officer should not host or publish any information which is prohibited under any law in relation to the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, friendly relations with foreign countries etc.