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India: Twitter finally dances to authorities tone

Twitter appoints resident grievance officer in India to comply with new internet rules

Twitter on Sunday appointed Vinay Prakash as its new resident grievance officer. The move could be seen as a reaction to it losing its liability protection in India. What this means is that Twitter will be held responsible for derogatory statements on its platform.

Twitter lost its liability protection earlier this week owing to a failure to comply with the new IT rule. The Indian government had told a local court that Twitter had lost the liability protection on user-generated content because it failed to appoint compliance, grievance and nodal contact officials to address on-ground concerns.

Earlier this week, Twitter told an Indian court that it was working to "fully comply" with the new IT rules. Twitter has fulfilled this promise with the appointment of a grievance officer and a way to contact the grievance officer. In addition to these two, Twitter also published a compliance report.

The latest development is expected to ease the tension between Twitter and the Indian Government. Before removing Twitter's liability protection, the Indian government in May deployed a special squad of Delhi police to two of Twitter's offices in the country. The move, which many saw as an intimidating tactic, was taken to accelerate the pace at which the company comply with the new local IT rules. The new IT rules was unveiled in February and came into effect in May.

Special squad of Delhi police visited two of Twitter's offices in the country in May| Source: India TV

Twitter at that time said it was "concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve" and requested the Indian government to grant it three additional months to comply with the new IT rules.

More countries are formulating similar requirements for tech giants operating in their region. An example is Russia, whose president -Vladimir Putin, signed a law that mandates foreign social media giants to open offices in Russia. Any social firm with a daily user base of 500,000 people or more must comply with the new law.

India in focus

GDP: $2.262 trillion compared to $2.871 trillion in 2019

Population: 1.38 billion in 2020 compared to 1.366 billion in 2019

GDP per capita: $1,900 in 2020 compared to $2,100 in 2019