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Twitter complies with new IT rules

The new IT rules came into effect on 26 May.

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New Delhi: The social media giant Twitter on Monday told the Delhi high court that it has appointed the grievance redressal officer, as required under the new IT (guidelines for intermediaries and digital media ethics code) rules, 2021.

The court was hearing a plea by one Amit Acharya, alleging that Twitter India has not complied with the IT Rules, according to which it was required to appoint a Resident Grievance Officer, Nodal Officer and Chief Compliance officer to look into any complaints against the platform.

Appearing on behalf of the US company, senior advocate Sajan Poovayya shared a letter dated 28 May, claiming that the company has already made the requisite appointment. However, the claim was disputed by the petitioner who argued that Twitter’s GRO details could not be found when a complaint was sought to be made against certain objectionable tweets, The Indian Express reported. He also alleged that the microblogging platform has appointed a US resident as the Grievance Officer, contradictory to what the IT rules mandated.

During the course of hearing, the court has also made it clear that “if the rules have not been stayed then they have to be complied with”.  It issued a notice to Twitter and gave the company three weeks to put the details on record. The case was adjourned for next hearing on July 6.

The government had released a circular on 26 May enquiring about compliance with the said rules by all SSMIs under the Rules. As per the rules, each significant social media intermediary is required to appoint a resident grievance officer, chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person for 24x7 coordination with law enforcement agencies. He/she would be required to acknowledge the complaint within 24 hours and resolve it within 15 days from its receipt.

All three should be resident Indians. They will also have to publish a monthly compliance report mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken. The intermediaries are also required to prominently publish on their website, app or both, the name of the grievance officer and his/her contact details as well as the mechanism by which a user or a victim may make a complaint.

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