The Indian government says that Twitter should be held accountable for what users post. CNN


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CNN Business

Twitter is in unknown waters in one of its biggest markets.

The social media company no longer has an exemption on content posted on its platform by third parties in India, according to a court filing submitted by the Indian government on Monday. The court has not yet considered the matter.

The government’s claim would mean that Twitter could potentially be held legally liable for anything its users post on its platform, deviating from its previous protections as an “intermediary”. .

According to the filing, Twitter has lost its security due to non-compliance with the country’s new information technology rules that came into force in May this year.

The document was shared with CNN by a source close to the legal representatives in the case who is not authorized to provide information.

India had strict new IT rules released in February, and the companies were given three months to comply. The rules require any social media company in India to create three roles: a “compliance officer” who will ensure it adheres to local laws; a “Grievance Officer” who will address complaints from Indian users about its Platform; And a “contact person” is available 24/7 for Indian law enforcement. All of them have to live in India.

According to court filings, Twitter has failed to fill any of these three roles.

Twitter declined to comment on the court filing. The company has previously indicated It has its reservations with the new social media rules, though it has also said it is “deeply committed” to India, one of its biggest markets.

“We have assured the Indian government that Twitter is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and an overview on our progress has been duly shared,” the company said in a statement last month. “We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian government.”

According to a government court filing on Monday, Twitter had announced an interim complaints officer and liaison officer, but both stepped down from their roles soon after. of the company Website Now lists the name of an officer Under “Grievance Officer Contact Information for Users in India,” the government said in its filing, but the executive’s address is in California, which amounts to “non-compliance with IT Rules 2021.”

CNN Business sees Grievance Officer position advertised by Twitter Linkedin.

Twitter has been in one high stakes standoff With the Government of India from the beginning of this year. In February, the company clashed with the tech ministry when it ordered the accounts to be deleted during massive protests by farmers. Twitter eventually complied with some requests but declined to take action against the accounts of journalists, activists or politicians.

in May, Police reached Twitter’s office in New Delhi When the company decided to label a tweet by a spokesperson of Modi’s ruling party as “manipulated media”. Police said the regular visit was to Twitter to cooperate with their investigation. The social media company called the move an “intimidation tactic” and said it was “concerned” about the safety of its employees in the country.

Twitter has previously said it has concerns about “the core elements of the new IT regulations” and a “potential threat to freedom of expression” in the country. India’s IT minister, on the other hand, has accused the company of taking “the path of willful disobedience”.

“Indian companies whether pharma, IT or others that go to the United States or other foreign countries to do business, voluntarily comply with local laws,” Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on twitter in June. “Then why are platforms like Twitter showing reluctance to comply with Indian laws designed to give a voice to victims of abuse and abuse?”

CNN’s Vedika Sood contributed to this report.

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