The Delhi High Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure over Twitter’s excessive delay in the appointment of its grievance redressal officer.
The court stated that Twitter is in defiance of the law for not appointing the grievance officer as necessitated. Further, the microblogging site has been directed to submit details on the appointment of its grievance officer by July 8, 2021.
As of now, the social media platform has also lost the safe harbour immunity for failing to fully comply with the IT Rules, 2021. The Centre has repeatedly confronted Twitter for deliberate defiance and failure to comply with India’s new IT rules, and not appointing the requisite officers, leading to it losing the ‘safe harbour’ immunity. Under the new IT rules, social media intermediaries with more than 5 Mn users are required to appoint a chief compliance officer, a nodal officer and a grievance officer and these officials have to be residents of India.
So far, Facebook, Google and Instagram have submitted their reports in compliance with the new IT rules. Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad even took to Twitter to praise these tech giants. “Nice to see significant social media platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram following the new IT Rules. First compliance report on voluntary removal of offensive posts published by them as per IT Rules is a big step towards transparency,” he tweeted.
Interestingly, Twitter has been engaged in a major battle with the central government over ‘manipulated media’ tags on some posts by members of the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party for over a month now. While the government has told Twitter to delete the tags, Twitter has not acted on the directive. As a result, members of the Delhi Police’s special cell seemingly raided two of Twitter’s offices in India.
Recently, the company appointed its California-based global legal policy director Jeremy Kessel as the new grievance officer for India after its interim resident grievance officer Dharmendra Chatur quit his post. The rules, however, call for an Indian resident for the role.