The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has sent a final notice in the form of a sternly-worded letter to Twitter for compliance with the new IT rules.
It said the new intermediary guideline rules have become effective from May 26, 2021 and it has been more than a week but Twitter has refused to comply with the provisions of these rules. The ministry highlighted that the microblogging platfom’s refusal to follow the rules demonstrates a “lack of commitment towards providing a safe experience to the people of India”.
“Despite being in operation in India for over 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,” the notice said. “Users who are abused on the platform or are harassed or are subject to defamation or specula abuse or become victims go a whole range of other abusive contacts must get a redressal mechanism that the same people of India have created through a due process of law.”
The notice highlighted that it is clear from the responses till date that Twitter has not informed about the details of the Chief Compliance Officer as required under the rules. “Further the Resident Grievance Officer and Nodal Contact Person nominated is not an employee of Twitter Inc in India as prescribed in the rules.” The ministry said that such non-compliance will lead to unintended consequences including Twitter losing exemption from liability as intermediary available under section 79 of the IT Act, 2009.
The notice added that as a “gesture of goodwill”, the Ministry has given Twitter one last notice to immediately comply with the new rules or lose the exemption from criminal liability available to social media intermediary. Section 79 provides the social media company safe harbor or protection against any kind of criminal action for third party content posted on the platform.