“Making every effort” to comply, said Twitter

(9th June, Thecyber Bureau): Twitter has written to the government that it is “making every effort” to comply with new digital rules and has appointed some of the India-based officers it is required to, but promises an update in one week.

The site has said it has appointed nodal and a resident grievance officer on contract and is “in the advanced stages of finalizing” a Chief Compliance Officer.

“We understand the importance of these regulations and have endeavored in good faith to comply with the guidelines, including with respect to hiring personnel in India. The guidelines were notified on February 25 and the global impact of the pandemic has made it more difficult for us as a practical matter to make certain arrangements necessary to comply with the Guidelines within the stipulated time-frame,” the social media giant wrote, a spokesperson confirmed today.

“We plan to provide additional details to you in the next several days, and at the latest within a week,” said Twitter.

It also wrote that it remained committed to serving the people of India by providing a platform to serve the public conversation in India, “especially during critical moments and emergency situations such as those we have seen globally in recent months”.

The government had last week given the company a stern “last notice” to comply with the new rules, saying its refusal to do so demonstrated its “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 Ministry of Electronics and IT had said.

The new rules enforced last month require major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to appoint a grievance officer, a nodal officer and a chief compliance officer, each based in India.

The rules call for the companies to follow greater due diligence and take down content flagged as offensive within 36 hours. They also have to trace the “first originator” of any information found to undermine the sovereignty of India, the security of the state, or public order.

If the platforms don’t comply, they will lose their intermediary status, which means they can face criminal action for content on their sites.

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