Twitter loses its liability protection in India following government order

Twitter has lost its liability protections against user-generated content in India due to its failure to comply with the country’s IT rules, the Indian government said in a court filing. This could potentially leave the company’s executives exposed to criminal charges over objectionable material on its platform, according to TechCrunch.

The statement is the first time Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has officially said Twitter has lost its immunity after repeatedly criticizing the company for non-compliance.

The dispute and the public spat have raised concern that American firms will find it difficult to do business amid a more stringent regulatory environment. Indian police have filed no less than five cases against the organization or its authorities, including some identified with youngster porn and communal content. A report was recently filed to police in the state of Uttar Pradesh against Twitter’s head in India, Manish Maheshwari, over the distribution of a map of India that showed the contested district of Kashmir as a different country.


Twitter has been in a standoff with the Indian government over its new internet regulations, called the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, announced in February. They dictate that social media companies must remove content within 36 hours of a legal notice and use automated processes to take down offensive material. Platforms must also appoint three full-time executives — who are required to be Indian residents — for compliances, grievances, and coordination with law enforcement.

Twitter’s resident grievance official Dharmendra Chatur was the first casualty of the debate. The executive ventured down from the post in late June. The organization has recently expressed that it required more time to comply with the law. In the meantime, Twitter has bowed to the public authority’s requests to bring down accounts with connections to the farmer’s protest that emitted in India last year. Notwithstanding, it has additionally gotten under the skin of authorities over its choice to mark tweets by individuals from the decision BJP party as “manipulated media.”

After months of threats, the Indian government has now officially declared that Twitter has lost its immunity against user-generated content. India’s IT ministry told the High Court in New Delhi that Twitter’s non-compliance amounted to a breach of the provisions of the IT Act, causing the U.S. firm to lose its immunity, according to the filing dated July 5.

India’s information and technology minister, Ravi Shankar, as of late adulated other US tech giants for keeping by the new rules. As a feature of their individual compliance reports, Facebook professed to have made a move against 30 million bits of content between May 15 and June 15; its subsidiary Instagram brought down around 2 million posts during the same period; and Google said it had eliminated 59,350 offensive posts.