Twitter to appoint chief compliance officer within a week
Social media platform Twitter is learnt to have written to the government that it is in the advanced stages of finalising chief compliance officer as per the new IT rules, and additional details will be submitted to the government within a week, according to an official source.
Twitter, in its reply to the final notice of the government dated June 5, said that it is making all efforts to comply with the new guidelines but has been unable to do so because of the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"...We are in advanced stages of finalising the appointment of the role of chief compliance office and we plan to provide additional details to you in the next several days, and at the latest within a week," Twitter said.
According to the source, the letter was sent on June 7 to the Ministry of Electronics and IT.
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When contacted, a Twitter spokesperson said, "Twitter has been and remains deeply committed to India, and serving the vital public conversation taking place on the service. We have assured the Government of India that Twitter is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and an overview on our progress has been duly shared. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian government."
The new IT rules for social media companies that came into effect last month 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.
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 in India.
Further, 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.
The new social media guidelines came into effect from May 26, 2021, but Twitter did not comply with the rules.
In its final notice, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had said that Twitter's refusal to comply with the rules demonstrated the micro-blogging site's "lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India on its platform".
The ministry's notice warned the social media firm of consequences for not following the new rules but gave one last chance to Twitter 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".
Twitter, in its latest reply, said that it understands the importance of new regulations and "have endeavoured in good faith to comply with the guidelines, including with respect to hiring personnel in India".