Plea in HC seeks directions to Twitter to comply with IT rules, appoint grievance officer


Team Udayavani, May 28, 2021, 1:21 PM IST

New Delhi: Twitter has not complied with the Centre’s IT Rules to appoint a resident grievance officer, a PIL alleged in the Delhi High Court on Friday and sought directions to the social media platform to comply without any delay.

The plea, by a lawyer, stated that the Information Technology Rules came into effect from February 25 and the Centre had given three months to every social media intermediary, including Twitter, to comply with them.

Amit Acharya, the petitioner, contended that the three-month period got over on May 25, but till date no resident grievance officer has been appointed by Twitter to deal with complaints regarding tweets on its platform.

In his plea, filed through advocate Akash Vajpai and Manish Kumar, Acharya said that he came to know about the alleged non-compliance when he tried to lodge a complaint against a couple of tweets.

The petition has sought a direction to Twitter to appoint a resident grievance officer without further delay. It has also sought a direction to the Centre to ensure that the IT rules are complied with.

Twitter had recently said it was committed to India as a vital market, but criticised the new IT rules and regulations that it said “inhibit free, open public conversation”.

Responding to Twitter’s comments, the Centre had said the messaging platform was levelling baseless and false allegations to defame India and dictating terms to the world’s largest democracy.

The Centre said that Twitter has refused to comply with new digital rules requiring identification of the originator of a flagged message and appointing grievance redressal officers and the purported commitment of the US-based firm to India not only sounds hollow but completely self-serving.

Under the new digital rules, social media companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter have been asked to identify within 36 hours the originator of a flagged message as well as conduct additional due diligence, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer.

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