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Twitter 'strives' For IT Rules Compliance While Advocating Changes Amid Privacy Debate

Even as WhatsApp and the Centre are indulged in a court battle over the new IT rules, Twitter stressed that it will strive to comply with the guidelines.

Twitter, India

Image: AP/PTI/Unsplash


Even as WhatsApp and the Centre are indulged in a court battle over the new IT rules, Twitter on Thursday stressed that it will strive to comply with the guidelines. Expressing commitment towards protecting freedom of speech and privacy, a Twitter spokesperson revealed that the microblogging service plans to talk to the Union government for amending certain clauses of these regulations which restrict a free conversation on the platform. Lamenting the purported use of "intimidation tactics" by the police, it back a collaborative approach to safeguard the interests of the people. 

Here is a Twitter spokesperson's comment on the IT rules: 

"Twitter is deeply committed to the people of India. Our service has proven vital for the public conversation and a source of support for people during the pandemic. To keep our service available, we will strive to comply with applicable law in India. But, just as we do around the world, we will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the rule of law. 

Right now, we are concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve. 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, as well as with core elements of the new IT Rules. We plan to advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that inhibit free, open public conversation. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government and believe it is critical to adopt a collaborative approach. It is the collective responsibility of elected officials, industry, and civil society to safeguard the interests of the public."

Centre's new rules for social media intermediaries: 

  • Intermediaries shall remove or disable access within 24 hours of receipt of complaints of contents that exposes the private areas of individuals, show such individuals in full or partial nudity or in a sexual act or is in the nature of impersonation including morphed images etc. Such a complaint can be filed either by the individual or by any other person on his/her behalf
  • Appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and Rules. Such a person should be a resident in India
  • Appoint a Nodal Contact Person for 24x7 coordination with law enforcement agencies. Such a person shall be a resident in India
  • Appoint a Resident Grievance Officer who shall perform the functions mentioned under Grievance Redressal Mechanism. Such a person shall be a resident in India
  • Publish a monthly compliance report mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken on the complaints as well as details of contents removed proactively by the significant social media intermediary
  • An intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge in the form of an order by a court or being notified by the Appropriate Govt. or its agencies through an authorized officer should not host or publish any information which is prohibited under any law in relation to the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, friendly relations with foreign countries etc
  • In cases where significant social media intermediaries remove or disable access to any information on their own accord, then a prior intimation for the same shall be communicated to the user who has shared that information with a notice explaining the grounds and reasons for such action. Users must be provided with an adequate and reasonable opportunity to dispute the action taken by the intermediary

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