The IT ministry might release FAQs related to the new intermediary rules in the next 1-2 weeks. The questions are currently being worked upon and will consist of 10-20 questions including the measures, user benefits of social media platforms, and other clarifications of stakeholders’ queries. The new IT rules make special media platforms more accountable for the posts they host. Twitter lost its security due to non-compliance with the new rules.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, the minister for IT and Telecom has called out social media firms and said that they have a social and moral responsibility towards their users. The minister said that these platforms should deal with issues like viral morphed images of a woman on their platform with sensibility and stop hiding behind technicalities. Prasad has accused them of having ‘double standards’ as they oppose the rules in India, but follow similar rules in the US.
A spokesperson from Twitter, after getting sued for non-compliance, said the company “strives to comply” with the new IT rules. Twitter, the spokesperson said, believes in principles of transparency. The Delhi-HC had issued a notice, to which Twitter said, it has already appointed a grievance officer. A few days back the microblogging site had expressed concerns for employees in India, to which the MeitY said, “stop beating around the bush” and “comply with the laws of the land.”
Delhi HC said Twitter has to comply with the new IT rules for social media platforms. Lawyer Amit Acharya, in his plea, had claimed non-compliance of rules by Twitter. The micro-blogging site, in its defense, said it has complied with the rules and even appointed a grievance officer. Social media platforms, according to the new rules, have been asked to track the originator of a flagged message within 36 hrs and appoint a nodal contact person and resident grievance officer.
Twitter has requested a 3-month extension for the implementation of the new IT rules. Delhi Police, recently, visited Twitter’s offices in Delhi and Gurugram with non-compliance notices that have been addressed as “use of intimidation tactics”. Not withholding the notice, can lead to serious consequences for its Indian employees. Twitter said that it will continue to address grievances from individuals and authorities via its grievance redressal cell under the new rules,
Twitter said that the recent visit by the Delhi police special team to the Twitter office in New Delhi was expressed as “use of intimidation tactics by the police”. The microblogging site expressed concern over the safety of the employees here. Twitter is now a part of the list of companies opposing the new IT rules of the Indian govt as it hopes to take a joint approach with the Indian govt while also recommend changing the new IT rules.
Google and Facebook aim to yield to the revised IT rules that will be applicable from today. The center is yet to decide whether to extend the deadline by a few weeks for acceptance of the new IT rules. Facebook has shown willingness to comply but says a few issues need more discussion with the govt. Google too sought an extension on the acceptance deadline. Both companies have not indicated they will fully accept the new rules.
The Indian govt has raised an objection against Twitter labeling tweets of certain politicians as “manipulated media”. Twitter labeled a tweet from BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s as “manipulated media”. India has asked Twitter to remove the tag in “fairness and equity” as no investigation has been conducted. The government said such actions fazed the neutral and unbiased status of Twitter as a platform and questions their status as an Intermediary.
Twitter that shut down its public verification program in 2017, has begun accepting public verification requests starting today. The current verified accounts that do not match the new policies will have their badges taken down. The new verification process seeks to achieve more transparency, credibility, and clarity of verification of accounts on Twitter. To be eligible the accounts should be active and must follow Twitter’s rules.