Twitter now in compliance with IT Rules: Centre tells HC
The Centre on Tuesday informed the Delhi High Court that Twitter Inc. now complies with the IT Rules, 2021 as it has appointed a permanent Chief Compliance Officer-cum-Resident Grievance Officer and a Nodal Contact Officer. The appointments have been made by Twitter for the first time since the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 were announced in February.
Twitter informed Vinay Prakash appointed as CCO, RGO
Last week, Twitter informed the Delhi HC it has appointed a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), a Resident Grievance Officer (RGO), and a Nodal Contact Person (NCP), in compliance with the provisions of IT Rules. While Vinay Prakash has been appointed as the CCO-cum-RGO, Shahin Komath has been named as NGP. Notably, Twitter had earlier made these appointments on an ad-hoc basis.
HC slated next hearing on October 5
After Twitter filed the renewed affidavit on Tuesday, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma—appearing for the Centre—confirmed that Twitter is now in compliance with the IT Rules. Granting time to the Centre to file an affidavit, the court slated the next hearing for October 5.
Court had earlier rejected Twitter's affidavit; gave 1-week deadline
Earlier on July 28, the court had rejected Twitter's affidavit, asking it to file a better one within one week with all details of the person who is to be appointed as a CCO and an RGO. It had also rebuked Twitter for not appointing an NCP and had asked it to provide a timeline for the appointment.
Government slammed Twitter for not complying with IT Rules
The Centre last month slammed Twitter for non-compliance with the IT Rules, saying Twitter's earlier statement expressing concerns over freedom of expression in India was a tactic to divert attention from its non-compliance with the country's laws. In a written reply in Parliament, the Centre said the fundamental right to speech and expression is constitutionally guaranteed and cannot be violated by anybody.
What do the new IT Rules say?
The IT Rules—announced in February—require social media platforms to set up a three-tier grievance redressal framework and appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal Contact Officer, and a Resident Grievance Officer in India. They are also required to remove content within 36 hours of a legal order. Social media platforms also need to publish monthly reports regarding complaints from Indian users.
Twitter and Centre at odds for months
To recall, tensions between Twitter and the Centre started to mount as Twitter delayed its compliance with the government's IT Rules. However, due to criticism from the government and court orders, Twitter had appointed Vinay Prakash as RGO last month. It also published a "transparency report" for June 2021. Moreover, Twitter had also lost its legal protection against user-generated content due to its non-compliance.