US social media platform Twitter has approached the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEiTY) seeking more time to comply with the new social media rules, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The San Francisco-based social media platform has said that it continues to remain deeply committed to India and serving public conversation taking place on its platform.
"We have assured the Government of India that Twitter is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and an overview of our progress has been duly shared. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government," a Twitter spokesperson said.
Twitter's response is followed by the Centre's stinging final notice to the firm regarding its non-compliance. The notice did not specify a deadline to comply with these rules aimed at preventing abuse and misuse of platforms.
"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 said in its statement.
The ministry informed that though with effect from May 26, 2021, "consequences follow" given Twitter's non-compliance with the rules. The notice added, "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 shall stand withdrawn and Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India."
As per the new IT rules, non-compliance can lead to the social media platform concerned about losing their intermediary status and the platforms could also be liable for criminal action in case of a complaint. Intermediary status provides these platforms the immunity from liabilities over any third-party data hosted by them.
Intermediary status is granted to platforms having more than 50 lakh users and these platforms are also required to appoint a grievance officer, a nodal officer, and a chief compliance officer. These officers have to be Indian citizens.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with PTI inputs