After the Indian government passed new IT regulations for 2021 at the beginning of the year, Twitter faced major legal challenges in the country. Last month, we saw a report that the social media giant is losing its status as an intermediary platform in India. According to court records, Twitter has lost its liability protection for content created by Indian users.
India’s social media platforms and Internet services enjoy a so-called “haven” for the uninitiated. In essence, it can prevent the Indian government from holding Internet services or social media platforms responsible for any of its users’ illegal activities or hate speech. Companies such as Google, Facebook, and WhatsApp enjoy this protection.
Unfortunately, Twitter can no longer benefit from safe harbor protection because the company does not comply with the new Indian IT regulations. Such guidelines require each social media company (with more than 5 million users) to appoint a chief compliance officer, a local complaints officer, and a contact information officer to address user concerns on the platform.
Although companies such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Google appoint the necessary executives to comply in full or in part with the new regulations, Twitter has not met any requirements. In addition, the American social media giant has been severely criticized for its tweets about “media manipulation.” This exacerbated the situation between the government and Twitter.
“All social media platforms are welcome to do business in India. They can criticize Ravi Shankar Prasad, my Prime Minister, or anyone. The issue is of misuse of social media. Some of them say we are bound by American laws. You operate in India, make good money, but you will take the position that you’ll be governed by American laws. This is plainly not acceptable,” said India’s IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a conference.