Twitter today revealed that the microblogging website is ready to comply with the new IT rules in India that came into effect on Wednesday, May 26th. The company commented on the new IT rules in between its clash with the government regarding its concern over “the potential threat to freedom of expression” and “the use of intimidation tactics by the police”.
To recall, the Twitter Office in India was visited by Delhi Police as Twitter recently tagged a post by BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra as “manipulated media”, a term used by social media platforms to denote fake or tampered media. This tag attracted attention from the Indian government as per which the US-based social media company’s action was termed as ‘biased’.
As it refused to remove the labels from multiple tweets from various members of the country’s ruling party, Twitter’s India office received a visit from the Police after a complaint was filed against the social media platform.
Regarding the new IT rules, a Twitter spokesperson said, “Twitter is deeply committed to the people of India. Our service has proven vital for the public conversation and a source of support for people during the pandemic. To keep our service available, we will strive to comply with applicable law in India. But, just as we do around the world, we will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the rule of law”.
“Right now, we are concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve. We, alongside many in civil society in India and around the world, have concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global Terms of Service, as well as with core elements of the new IT Rules”, he added.
“We plan to advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that inhibit free, open public conversation. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government and believe it is critical to adopt a collaborative approach. It is the collective responsibility of elected officials, industry, and civil society to safeguard the interests of the public”.
The new IT rules mandate a few things for all the social media companies with users over 5 million. The rules make it compulsory for the companies to have a complaint redressal mechanism and trace the first originator of the wrongdoing. Companies such as Google, Facebook have already said they are ready to comply with the new rules while WhatsApp is in an ongoing spat with the government over the rules.