Twitter is now legally responsible for content posted by Indian users after it has not complied with the country’s new IT rules, the government said in a legal application. As both have reported Reuters and TechCrunch, In its application to the New Delhi Supreme Court, the Indian Ministry of IT claims that the social media company has lost its legal immunity because it has not complied with the new requirements set in May. These include the appointment of a Chief Compliance Officer, a Complaints Officer and a Liaison Officer to respond to law enforcement requests 24 hours a day.
Reuters reports that the trial came in response to a Twitter user’s allegations that they had been insulted by tweets posted on the platform, and that Twitter has not appointed new leaders as required as part of the new regulations.
If the court is on the side of the Indian government, it would mean a significant change in Twitter’s legal obligations in the country TechCrunch stating that it could open the door for its leaders to bring criminal charges for unfortunate content posted by users. While social media platforms, including Twitter, often export content in response to legal challenges, are generally not legally responsible for the content of users’ messages. Although the Indian government has claimed that Twitter has lost this legal protection, experts have said that the final decision is ultimately with the Indian courts.
In the U.S., social media companies are generally not responsible for user messages Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. But Indian IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has argued that it is wrong for companies to expect exactly the same protection under Indian law. “It’s a question of social media abuse” TechCrunch the minister said at a press conference last week. Some of them say we are bound by U.S. laws. You operate in India, you earn good money, but you take the position that you are governed by U.S. laws. This is clearly unacceptable. “Prasad denied that the transfer was intended to quell criticism of the country’s government.
A Twitter spokesman did not respond immediately Limitrequest to comment, but the company declined to comment on both Reuters and TechCrunch. Twitter has previously said it is working to comply with India’s new broker guidelines and digital media code of ethics, which came into force in May.
Tensions between Twitter and the Indian government have been rising for several months. In May, Indian police attacked Twitter offices as part of a study into why the company marked government officials ’tweets as“ manipulated media ”. Last month, the country’s technology minister warned Twitter of “unintended consequences” if the company did not comply with its new rules and gave it a “final notice to comply immediately”.
Other major technology companies have also come across the Indian authorities over its new rules. In May, WhatsApp sued the Indian government the new rules, claiming they are unconstitutional and “seriously undermine users’ privacy.” WhatsApp’s concerns relate to the requirement that it trace the origin of malicious messages. The service claims that it would actually force it to “trace” private messages sent to its platform, ultimately breaking the service’s end-to-end encryption.