Govt issues ‘one last notice’ to Twitter to comply with IT rules

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The Indian government on Saturday issued a notice to Twitter giving it one last chance to “immediately” comply with the new IT rules, warning that failure to adhere to the norms will lead to the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act.

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 a 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.

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The letter from the ministry further went on to state, “Users who are abused on the platform or are harassed or are subject to defamation or sexual 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 ministry, in its letter, also stated that the platform has not informed about the details of the chief compliance officer and that the nodal contact person and the resident grievance officer appointed by Twitter is not an employee of Twitter, Inc in India, as prescribed by the rules.

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one last notice to immediately comply with the rules, failing which the exemption from liability available… shall stand withdrawn, and Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India.”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 give a specific deadline to comply with the IT rules.

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