Micro-blogging platform Twitter has finally appointed a permanent chief compliance officer, a grievance officer, and a nodal contact person to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, Rules 2021, that came into impact on May 25, 2021. During a hearing in Delhi High Court, senior advocate Sajan Poovayya appearing for Twitter India said that the micro-blogging firm has permanently appointed a chief compliance officer and a grievance officer as one person and a separate nodal contact person on August 4, 2021.
Attorney general secretary Chetan Sharma appearing for the central government has said that Twitter India appears to have complied with the recently enacted guidelines yet should be checked.
The single-seat headed by justice Rekha Palli has asked ASG Sharma to go through the affidavit filed by Twitter and inform the court whether Twitter has complied with the IT guidelines. The next hearing is planned for August 10, 2021.
The matter of occasion is Twitter’s reluctance to follow the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, Rules 2021. Last month Justice Rekha Palli had rapped Twitter India for not following the Center’s guidelines. According to the Live Law report, justice Palli said, “I don’t know what your company wants to do. If you want to do it, comply wholeheartedly.” Her remarks came after Poovayaa submitted two affidavits mentioning that the company has appointed Chief Compliance Officer and Grievance Officer as ‘contingent laborers’. The court had a problem with the term contingent and looked for why the nodal compliance officer was not appointed at this point. The court had given a week’s time to file a superior affidavit.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had enacted Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, Rules 2021 on May 25, 2021, three months after drafting it. All social media intermediaries with or in excess of 5 Mn users in India have to comply with the guidelines. Apart from appointing a chief grievance officer, chief compliance officer, and a nodal contact person, the social media companies upon receiving a court request or instructions received from any administration agency shall not have unlawful content in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India.
If a particular content piece is already live on the platform then the social media intermediaries have to eliminate it from the platform within a day and a half of the receipt of the court request or instruction received from the public authority agency. Jack Dorsey-drove Twitter has been at a receiving end from the Indian government for failing to comply with the IT guidelines.
Throughout the span of last month, Twitter had appointed Dharmendra Chatur as an interim resident officer, who later quit within days. Following this, the micro-blogging platform appointed California-based legal policy director – Jeremy Kessel. Nonetheless, the enhanced IT guidelines clearly mandate that all the three appointees ought to be permanent residents of India. On July 11, Twitter appointed Vinay Prakash as its resident grievance officer.