Twitter loses immunity over user-generated content in India

Microblogging giant, Twitter Inc does not enjoy liability protection against user-generated content in India anymore. The U.S. company has failed to comply with new IT regulations, the Indian government said in a court filing, according to reports by news agency Reuters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has first time officially said Twitter has lost its immunity after continuously criticising the company for non-compliance.

Amid a more stringent regulatory environment, the dispute and public spat has raised concern that American firms will find it difficult to do business.

IT ministry of India told the High Court in New Delhi that Twitter’s non-compliance added up to a breach of the provisions of the newIT Act, causing the U.S. microblogging giant to lose its immunity, according to the filing on July 5.

The filing came in a case registered by a Twitter user who wanted to complain about some allegedly defamatory tweets, and told that the firm was not complying with the new rules that requires appointment of new officers.

Twitter, however declined to comment. The firm had previously said that it was making all efforts to comply with the new laws.

India’s new IT laws which were effective from May end are aimed at regulating content on social media firms and making them more liable to legal requests for quick removal of posts and sharing details on the message originators.

IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad criticized Twitter for purposely defying the rules and said all social media firms must abide by the new laws.

As the grievances grew between the Indian capital New Delhi and US firm Twitter in recent weeks, the Indian police have lodged nearly five cases against the platform or its officials, including some related to child pornography and controversial map of India.

Police from two states have filed complaints against Twitter India chief Manish Maheshwari. While, Uttar Pradesh has separately challenged a bar on police action against Maheshwari in the SC, after a small court protected him from arrest over an accusation that the microblogging platform was used to spread hate.


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