Centre has also stated that the Resident Grievance Officer and Nodal Contact Person nominated by Twitter is not an employee of Twitter Inc and the company’s official address is that of a law firm in India, which is also not as per the Rules. The govt has warned that noncompliance will lead to unintended consequences including Twitter losing exemption from liability as intermediary. The new IT rules came into force on 26 May and it has been more than a week but Twitter has refused to comply with, stated govt.
Earlier in the day, Twitter withdrew the blue verified badge from Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s personal handle, claiming that his personal handle was inactive for a long time, before restoring it later. Questioning whether Twitter is targeting Naidu who is a constitutional functionary, government sources accused the social media platform of showing “blatant disregard” for the constitutional process. Moreover, govt sources busted Twitter’s ‘inactive account’ reason, as many deceased leaders, journalists still have the blue tick on their handles despite ‘inactivity’.
Centre’s new IT rules 2021 for social media
- Social media intermediaries shall appoint a Grievance Officer to deal with complaints and share the name and contact details of such officers. The officer should acknowledge the complaint received within 24 hours and resolve the issue within 15 days.
- Intermediaries should remove or disable, within 24 hours of the complaint received, content that displays partial or full nudity, sexual act, morphed images, etc.
- Intermediaries have to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal Contact Person and a Resident Grievance Officer, and all these officers should be Indian residents.
- social media intermediaries offering messaging services must help law enforcement agencies identify and track the first originator of any contentious or problematic 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.
- If failed to comply, safe harbours which offer immunity to intermediaries from criminal liability would not apply to them.