Twitter may lose its immunity in India
Twitter doesn’t comply with India’s IT rules 2021 and is to be punished following existing rules. The new rules came into effect at the end of May this year and are focused on regulating content on social media platforms, getting them to be responsible for the quick removal of posts under legal requests.
India’s IT Minister told the High Court in New Delhi that breaking the rules is going to cause the loss of Twitter’s immunity as a social media intermediary under the IT Act. The immunity is linked to third-person data posted on the platform.
In its affidavit the ministry of electronics and information technologies enumerated the violations, made by Twitter, telling it had to appoint a chief compliance officer but didn’t do it. Meanwhile, the positions of a resident grievance officer and a nodal contact person remain vacant. It was added that the immunity provided for intermediaries in conformity with Section 79(1) is a conditional immunity subject to the intermediary complying with the terms in conformity with Sections 79(2) and 79(3). Moreover, it was emphasized in the affidavit that the Twitter website was lacking its physical address, yet this is obligatory under the new IT rules.
All these proceedings around Twitter started after filing a complaint by their user who claimed there were discrediting tweets and pointed out that in accordance with the new IT rules new executives needed to be appointed by the company. Twitter refused to comment on this situation, as it had argued before it was trying to comply with all the regulations.
In the last few weeks, at least five more complaints have been filed against Twitter, some of them connected with children’s pornography.