At a time when Twitter is fighting a bitter battle with the Centre over compliance with the new IT rules, the social media giant has appointed California-based Jeremy Kessel as the new grievance officer for India.
The development comes a day after Dharmendra Chatur stepped down and is in clear contravention of the new IT rules which suggests that all nodal officials, including the grievance redressal officer, should be from India. Chatur was Twitter’s interim grievance redressal officer.
The social media giant had told the Delhi High Court on May 31 it was appointing Dharmendra Chatur, partner at a law firm that represented Twitter, as the interim officer for the role. But the Centre had said it could not accept the appointment of outsiders to statutory posts.
Twitter’s tussle with Centre
Earlier in June, the Centre had issued a “final warning” to the social media platform, asking it to comply with the new rules or be ready to face the consequences. Under the new rules, the social media companies were required to identify the origin of a flagged message and also conduct additional due diligence.
The micro-blogging site had criticised the new rules, saying that they “inhibit free, open public conversation.” In response, the Centre had accused it of trying to defame India and dictate its own terms. There is an estimated 1.75 crore Twitter users in India, according to data cited by the government recently.
Twitter lost legal protection
The Union government withdrew the legal protection given to Twitter in India after the micro-blogging site failed to comply with the new rules under Information Technology Act. It can no longer claim protection from action because of third-party content.
The new rules came into effect on May 26. The rules required Twitter to appoint India-based officers to handle grievances related to it in the country. UP became the first state after this development to level criminal charges against Twitter.
Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at Twitter
Last week, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at the social media giant after he was denied access to his account for an hour. The minister has already rebuked Twitter on several occasions for not complying with Indian laws related to significant social media intermediaries.
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