Social media platform Twitter has issued job openings on its website to hire a chief compliance officer among others according to the requirements of the new IT rules or intermediary guidelines.
The microblogging site has issued job openings, in India, for chief compliance officer, resident grievance officer and nodal officer on its website. The rules went into effect from May 26, 2021 and impact the way users interact with social media platforms and increase the compliance burden on such platforms as well as OTT video streaming companies and digital publishers.
Last week, Twitter claimed that it is making every effort to comply with India’s new IT rules after being given an ultimatum by the Indian government the week before. However, the company has reportedly sought more time to comply with the IT rules. The government, in a written communication had said if Twitter did not ensure immediate compliance with the guidelines, the protections accorded to it under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act would stand withdrawn and “Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India”.
Twitter had asked for more time to comply with India’s controversial IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, informally called the new IT rules, due to the challenges posed by the uncertain pandemic situation in India.
Twitter has been in a constant tussle with the central government over a few different issues which have led to the platform drawing the ire for non-compliance with the new IT rules.
Twitter got in trouble with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Indian government, after it flagged a tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as ‘manipulated media’ on May 21. In that tweet, Patra had portrayed that an alleged toolkit prepared by the Indian National Congress to amplify the support given to Covid patients was merely a PR gimmick. India’s ministry of electronics and IT (Meity) had asked Twitter to remove the “manipulated media” tag attached to Patra’s post.
A few days later, Twitter India’s offices in Delhi’s Lado Sarai and Gurugram were raided by a special team of Delhi Police on May 24 evening. Notably, the Delhi Police comes under the jurisdiction of the central government of India, which is led by the BJP. The microblogging platform also raised red flags for mentioning “the use of intimidation tactics by the police”. On the same day, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) stated that there will be ‘consequences’ of non-compliance and Twitter India will face withdrawal of exemption from intermediary liability that social media platforms have.
The new rules were notified in February this year, and one of the key requirements is a three-tier oversight process for digital media and online curated content i.e. OTT platforms. It also tightens the noose around social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, which would be required to take down objectionable content/posts within 36 hours of receiving a complaint from competent authorities. OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Zee5 will also face stringent scrutiny from the government as per the new guidelines. All such intermediaries and digital media platforms are also required to appoint chief compliance officers, resident grievance officers and other employees specifically to deal with the requirements under the law.
However, a few different individuals and organisations have filed petitions to counter the new IT rules for being vague and restrictive.