Twitter has lost its liability protection against user-generated content in India due to its non-compliance with the country’s IT rules, the Indian government said in a ruling. The move could leave society leaders vulnerable to criminal charges for unacceptable material on their platform, according to TechCrunch.
Indian police have filed at least five cases against the company or its officials, including some relating to child pornography and blaspheme content. A report was recently presented to the police in the state of Uttar Pradesh against the head of Twitter in India, Manish Maheshwari, over the publication of a map of India showing the disputed region of Kashmir as a separate country.
Twitter has been in a fight with the Indian government for its news internet regulations, called Information Technology Rules (Intermediate Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Ethics), announced in February. They say social media companies should remove content within 36 hours from a legal notice and use automated processes to remove offensive material. The platforms must also appoint three full-time executives – who are required to be Indian residents – for compliance, complaints and coordination with law enforcement.
Twitter’s resident officer, Dharmendra Chatur, was the first victim of the dispute. The executive resigned from the post at the end of June. The company said earlier that it needed more time to comply with the law. Meanwhile, Twitter has bowed before the government ask to clear the accounts with links to farmers ’protests that erupted in India last year. However, he also drew anger from officials for his decision to label tweets from BJP party members to the government as “manipulated media”.
After months of threats, the Indian government has officially announced that Twitter has lost its immunity against user-generated content. In a filing dated July 5, the Ministry of Information Technology told the New Delhi High Court that its decision was the result of the Twitter violation of the IT act. We touched on Twitter to comment.
Indian Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar recently praised other American technology giants for abiding by the rules. In part of their respective compliance reports, Facebook claimed to have acted against 30 million pieces of content between May 15 and June 15; his Instagram affiliate took in about two million posts during the same period; and Google said it had cut 59,350 undesirable posts.
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