Indian minister attacks Twitter over new social media rules

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India’s information technology minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, has hit out at Twitter on Wednesday, accusing it of not complying with new regulations for social media sites that came into effect in May .

The new intermediary guidelines were aimed at regulating content on large social media platforms and messaging services like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter that have over 5 million users.

The new rules require them to appoint an employee that Indian authorities can turn to if they want content removed.

This India-based compliance officer will be criminally liable for content published on the platform.

“There are numerous queries arising as to whether Twitter is entitled to safe harbor provision.

However, the simple fact of the matter is that Twitter has failed to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines that came into effect from the 26th of May,’’ Prasad tweeted in a series of posts on Twitter and its Indian rival Koo.

A spokesperson for Twitter said that it was keeping the IT Ministry informed of steps it was taking to comply with the new guidelines.

It said an interim chief compliance officer had been appointed and details would be shared with the ministry.

As part of the new guidelines, the firms must also engage in proactive monitoring of content and share details if required with Indian authorities about the originators of messages.

If they fail to comply with the new guidelines, these platforms can lose their status as intermediaries, which means they will be open to legal action for something posted on their platform along with the person who posted it.