Twitter on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it will take eight more weeks to appoint a resident grievance officer (RGO) in conformity with the new IT rules.
In an affidavit filed before Delhi HC, the micro-blogging platform, clarified its stance on the issue of compliance with the new rules of the Centre. The company stated that it was also in the process of creating a liaison office in India.
Delhi HC had on July 6 instructed Twitter to inform it by July 8 as to when it will designate an RGO in line with the new IT rules after the microblogging site submitted that it was in the process of ensuring the same.
"The company will take 8 weeks to comply with the appointment of the resident grievance redressal officer. The company is also in the process of setting up a liaison office in India. The liaison office in India will be the permanent physical contact address for all communication under the new IT Rules," Twitter said in its reply to the Delhi HC.
The microblogging platform also noted that the first compliance report under the new IT norms could be out by July 11.
During the hearing on July 6, Justice Rekha Palli took exception to the fact the court was not informed that the earlier appointment of the RGO was only on interim basis, and he has already resigned.
The high court pointed out that only an interim RGO was appointed by Twitter and a wrong impression was given to the court on May 31 as it was not informed that the appointment was on interim basis.
"If he went away on June 21, the least Twitter could do was to appoint another officer in these 15 days since you knew that this matter was coming up for hearing on July 6. We are concerned with the issue of compliance. How long does your process take? If Twitter thinks it can take as long as it wants in my country, I will not allow that," the judge said.
The new IT rules for social media companies that came into effect in May this year mandate large platforms like Facebook and Twitter to undertake greater due diligence and make these digital platforms more accountable and responsible for the content hosted by them.
The rules also require significant social media intermediaries - providing services primarily in the nature of messaging - to enable identification of the "first originator" of the information that undermines the sovereignty of India, the security of the state, or public order.
Under the rules, significant social media intermediaries - those with over 50 lakh users - are required to appoint a grievance officer, a nodal officer and a chief compliance officer.
These personnel have to be residents of India. Furthermore, social media companies will have to take down flagged content within 36 hours and remove within 24 hours content that is flagged for issues such as nudity and pornography.
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