Microblogging platform Twitter on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of an interim chief compliance officer, in line with new Information technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules 2021 that came into effect in May.
This comes days before Twitter is scheduled to meet the parliamentary standing committee on information technology.
The parliamentary committee will hear the views of Twitter representatives and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on the subject of safeguarding citizen’s rights and misuse of social media and online news platforms.
“We are keeping the MeitY apprised of the progress at every step of the process. An interim Chief Compliance Officer has been retained and details will be shared with the Ministry directly soon. Twitter continues to make every effort to comply with the new guidelines,” a Twitter spokesperson said in response to queries sent by TechCircle.
It is not mandatory for social media platforms to publicly disclose the names of the chief compliance officer. Earlier this month, Twitter announced the appointment of an interim Grievance Officer after receiving notice from MeitY to comply with the rules.
Multiple reports also suggested that Twitter was in danger of losing safe harbour granted to social media intermediaries. However, Delhi-based digital rights advocacy platform Internet Freedom Foundation said that this would be an incorrect reading of law.
1/ Fact check: We would like to caution against news reports of any social media entity (a significant entity) losing the “protective shield” of an “intermediary status”. This emerges from an incorrect reading of the law. #TwitterBanInIndia https://t.co/r3QNIHDx80— Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) (@internetfreedom) June 16, 2021
On the subject, Minister of IT Ravi Shankar Prasad took to the social media platform Twitter on Wednesday to state that Twitter had failed to comply with the intermediary guidelines which came into effect on May 26. “Further, Twitter was given multiple opportunities to comply with the same (intermediary guidelines), however it has deliberately chosen the path of non-compliance,” he added.
There are numerous queries arising as to whether Twitter is entitled to safe harbour provision. However, the simple fact of the matter is that Twitter has failed to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines that came into effect from the 26th of May.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 16, 2021
Twitter has been under the scanner since the intermediary guidelines came into effect. The platform was also served with a notice by Delhi Police for tagging a tweet by the ruling party’s spokesperson as “manipulated media.” Twitter cited its concerns “..with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police..” in a statement, which drew sharp criticism from the Delhi Police and MeitY.