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Sunday, August 14, 2022

IT Ministry warns Twitter to comply with new IT rules or ‘face action’

The IT Ministry has warned Twitter to comply with the new IT rules within the July 4 deadline or face stricter action. According to reliable sources, the micro-blogging platform is yet to reply to two notices sent by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) last month.

The government told Twitter to act on the content take-down notices sent under Section 69 A of the IT Act along with non-compliance notices issued for not taking the content down. Not complying with the IT rules, 2021 can result in Twitter losing its immunity as a social media intermediary under Section 79 of the IT Act, sources added.

A query sent to Twitter India went unanswered.

Last month, the IT Ministry issued a similar notice to the micro-blogging platform, directing it to appoint a resident grievance officer, a resident chief compliance officer, and a nodal contact person. Meanwhile, the Indian government has republished a draft that reveals the plan to form an appeals panel that can reverse content moderation decisions by Big Tech companies like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

In republished draft changes to IT Rules 2021, the IT Ministry (MeitY) stated that the new amendment “will not impact early stage or growth stage Indian companies or startups.” The IT Ministry is seeking public comments on the draft proposal in a 30-day time-frame.

Currently, content moderation decisions by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter can only be appealed in a court.

The IT rules also require big social media platforms to help the government trace the originator of messages in special cases. There will be a deadline of 30 days for appeals against decisions by company grievance officers and the appeals panel will get another 30 days to take up the matter and act upon it, according to the draft document.

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 mandate that the intermediaries, including social media intermediaries, must establish a grievance redressal mechanism for receiving resolving complaints from the users or victims.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)

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