Twitter Loses Legal Shield In India For 3rd-Party Content

by Dikhyaa Mohanty

Twitter has lost the coveted safe harbour immunity in India over its failure to appoint statutory officers on the company’s role in line with the new IT rules, and its top executives, including the country managing director, could now face police questioning and criminal liability under IPC over ‘unlawful’ and ‘inflammatory’ content posted on the platform by any user.

According to the official report, Twitter becomes the only American platform to have lost the protective shield – granted under Section 79 of the IT Act, even though others such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram remain protected.

The report further added that the company had been given extra time to comply with the guidelines, but it has failed to fall in line with the new IT Rules despite our repeated indulgence, including an extension. With this, Twitter has lost its safe harbour protection, and now stands exposed to action under the IPC for any third-party unlawful content.

To this Twitter responded by quoting that it has appointed an interim chief compliance officer in India. In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson informed that an interim chief compliance officer has been retained it will share all details of the appointment with the IT ministry soon.

It has appointed an “interim” chief compliance officer, adding that details had still not been shared with the IT ministry and this would happen soon. An interim chief compliance officer has been retained and details will be shared with the Ministry directly soon. Twitter continues to make every effort to comply with the new Guidelines.

The Ministry said, however, that it is yet to receive any details from the company. The government clearly looks unhappy at the steps initiated by the company, especially as it believes that repeated reminders and even the temporary relaxation which was extended as a goodwill gesture did not yield much result.

Image Source – Google

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