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Concerned about safety of staff in India, says Twitter

Putting out a statement, Twitter expressed concern about the safety of its staff in India, days after police visited its office as part of an investigation pertaining to Twitter's tagging of certain posts by leaders of the ruling party

Delhi Police on May 25 visited Twitter's office to serve a notice to the company's country head Delhi Police on May 25 visited Twitter's office to serve a notice to the company's country head

Microblogging platform Twitter has expressed worry about the safety of its staff in India, days after police visited its office as part of an investigation pertaining to Twitter's tagging of certain ruling party posts as 'manipulated media'.

Delhi Police on May 25 visited its office to serve a notice to the company's country head.

"We, alongside many in civil society in India and around the world, have concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global Terms of Service," Twitter said, without directly referring to the Delhi Police action.

Also Read: Delhi Police raids Twitter's Delhi, Gurugram offices in 'Toolkit' case

A political slugfest recently erupted between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress over a "toolkit" allegedly readied by the latter. Several top BJP leaders, comprising Union ministers, tweeted portions of the document, claiming it was created by Congress.

The "toolkit" allegedly highlighted the Centre's failure in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. Following this, Congress complained to Twitter saying the document was fake, after which the microblogging platform marked some of the posts as "manipulated media."

Twitter has been battling with the Indian government since February after the technology ministry asked it to block content alleging the government was trying to silence criticism related to farmer protests in the country.

Following the showdown, India announced new IT rules that aim to make social media firms more accountable to legal requests for swift removal of posts.

Also Read: Why Facebook, Twitter, Instagram could be banned in India from tomorrow?

On Thursday, Twitter urged the technology ministry to give it three more months to comply with the new content regulation rules, which include the appointment of an Indian grievance officer to deal with complaints.

Twitter said it was very concerned the rules made the compliance officer criminally liable for content on the platform, adding that the move represented a dangerous overreach.

India's technology ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The new IT rules have spurred legal battles, including a lawsuit filed by Facebook-owned WhatsApp this week which calls out India's government for exceeding its legal powers by enacting rules that will force the messaging app to break end-to-end message encryption.

(With inputs from Reuters.)