India Gives Twitter Last Chance To Comply With New IT Rules Or Risk Losing Legal Protection

Zinger Key Points
  • India has toughened its stance against Twitter.
  • Twitter has until July 4 to comply with the government's new IT rules.
  • Non-compliance will lead to Twitter losing intermediary status.

The Indian government has issued an ultimatum to Twitter Inc TWTR to comply with the country's Information Technology Rules after the social media platform's repeated failures to act on the content take-down notices sent under the IT Act.

What Happened: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has given Twitter time until July 4 to comply with the rules or face the risk of losing its immunity as an intermediary, local news outlet Economic Times reported, citing people directly aware of the development.

The government introduced the IT Act in February 2021, which mandated social media companies such as Meta Platforms Inc's META Facebook and Instagram, Alphabet Inc's GOOGL GOOG YouTube, and Twitter to appoint grievance redressal officers to hear complaints and respond to requests within 15 days.

In a notice sent to Twitter on Monday, the ministry pointed out that Twitter failed to comply with notices sent on June 6 and June 9.

"if Twitter Inc. continues to be in violation of these directions and therefore the IT Act, significant consequences under the IT Act shall prevail," MeitY said in the notice addressed to Twitter's chief compliance officer.

Benzinga's email to the Twitter India comms team, seeking comment, went unanswered until press time.

Why It Matters: Twitter has had a frosty relationship with the Narendra Modi-led government, and failure to comply with the IT rules by the deadline would result in the company losing safe harbor, or immunity from prosecution, under the IT Act.

If this comes to pass, Twitter won't be considered a platform hosting information from a third party but will be held editorially responsible for all tweets disseminated through its platform.

Price Action: According to data from Benzinga Pro, Twitter shares closed a little over a percent lower at $38.79 on Tuesday. 

Posted In: AsiaNewsSocial MediaGlobalTechMediaGeneralEurasiaIndia