After a war of words, US-based social media giant Twitter has sought more time from the Union government to comply with new information technology rules. It has clarified that it intends to comply with the new rules, but requires more time for the same due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the government had given an ultimatum to the company for its dillydallying approach. In a strongly worded notice, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had said that Twitter’s refusal to comply with the rules demonstrated the micro-blogging site’s “lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India on its platform”.
With no other options left, the microblogging website has now decided to fall in line.
What Twitter said
A spokesperson of the company said Twitter has been and remains deeply committed to India, and serving the vital public conversation taking place on the service.
“We have assured the government of India that Twitter is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and an overview on our progress has been duly shared. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian government,” the spokesperson added.
New IT rules
Social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter were given three months by the government to comply with the new digital rules, the deadline for which ended in May. The new rules require these technology giants to set up a grievance response mechanism, remove content within 36 hours of a legal order and appoint a compliance officer in India.
This apart, companies are also required to develop automated processes for the removal of offensive content. The Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code also provide that the major social media sites will lose their protection from legal prosecution for the content posted on their platform if they fail to comply with the government diktat.
While social media companies have raised the issue of user privacy in complying with the new rules, the Union government has said that it respects users’ privacy, while asserting that the new digital rules for social media intermediaries have been framed to stop abuse and misuse of social media.
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