India reportedly warned Twitter of ‘unintended consequences’ if it fails to abide by new rules

The Indian government told Twitter it could face “unintended consequences” if it does not comply with the country’s new social media rules, Reuters reported. India’s Minister of Technology wrote in a June 5 letter to Twitter that the company’s responses to previous letters from the government regarding the new rules did not confirm whether Twitter was in full compliance, according to Reuters.

Under India’s Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Ethics, which entered into force in May, social media companies could face legal action if they do not comply with the provisions of the code, which aims to regulate the content of platforms. The new rules require platforms like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to remove content within 36 hours of receiving a legal order.

The rules also require companies to have a grievances officer who acknowledges user complaints within 24 hours, a compliance officer, and a contact person who would be available to law enforcement agencies 24. hours a day.

The June 5 letter to Twitter said the company had not yet qualified for the new roles, Reuters reported, and could lead India to hold Twitter accountable for the content on its platform. But the letter said that “as a gesture of goodwill, Twitter Inc is hereby one final notice to abide by the rules immediately.”

Twitter has mingled with the Indian government on several fronts in recent months. In April, the social platform deleted tweets criticizing the Indian government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, at the government’s request. And at the end of last month, police in the Indian cities of Delhi and Guragon raided Twitter offices as part of an investigation into why some tweets by government officials were labeled “media” manipulated ”under Twitter policy. There were no employees in the offices at the time, as Twitter employees in India were working remotely.

Twitter declined to comment on Saturday.


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