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Twitter is starting to hire to comply with India’s new rules



NEW DELHI, July 8 (Reuters) – Twitter Inc’s (TWTR.N) India unit has appointed a temporary compliance chief and will soon appoint other leaders to meet the country’s new IT rules, the social media giant said in court on Thursday amid tensions with the government.

The IT rules, which came into force at the end of May, aim to regulate content on social media and get companies to act faster on legal requests to remove posts and share details about the messengers. They also require the appointment of certain new leaders. Read more

The rules were introduced amid a growing conflict between the government and the American social media company that came together during the pandemic. The spitting between Twitter and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist government began earlier this year when the microblogging giant was ordered to remove a controversial hash tag related to the farmer’s protests against new agricultural reforms.

This battle, combined with regulatory scrutiny of other U.S. technology companies such as WhatsApp and Amazon, has disrupted the business environment in a key growth market, so much so that some companies are considering expansion plans. Read more

Twitter will attempt to complete two appointments, a nodal contact job temporarily within two weeks and a temporary complaint administrator on July 11 or earlier, the company said in the filing of 8. June to Delhi High Court.

The government said in a court ruling earlier this week that Twitter no longer has liability for user-generated content in India as it has not complied with the new rules. Read more

The filing came in a case against Twitter by a user who wanted to complain about some allegedly defamatory tweets on the platform, saying the company did not comply with the rules.

Twitter has announced job openings for the three new roles and will try to provide an offer of employment to resident Indians, as required by the rules, within 8 weeks, it said.

On Thursday, the Delhi High Court gave Twitter two weeks to make these permanent appointments before the interim leaders take full responsibility for their roles.

The government is free to act against the company in case of violation of the rules, the court said.

San Francisco, California-based Twitter is setting up a liaison office in India, the court told it.

“While Twitter strives to comply with the 2021 rules, Twitter reserves its right to challenge the legality, validity … of the rules,” Twitter said in the submission.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

India’s Ministry of Technology has previously slammed Twitter publicly for deliberately defying the law, saying all social media companies must comply with the new rules.

As tensions escalate between the US company and the authorities, Indian police have in recent weeks filed at least five cases against Twitter or its officials. Read more

Police in two Indian states have appointed Twitter India chief Manish Maheshwari in complaints. Uttar Pradesh state has challenged in the Supreme Court a bar for police action against Maheshwari after a lower court protected him from arrest due to an accusation that the platform was used to spread hatred.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing Kim Coghill and Elaine Hardcastle

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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