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Government of India warns Twitter: Comply with blocking orders by July 4 or lose intermediary status

If Twitter fails to comply with the orders by July 4, it will risk losing its status as an intermediary. In case it happens, the social media giant will be liable for the content posted by the users on the platform.

On June 27, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) warned social media giant Twitter to comply with its blocking orders by July 4, or risk losing its immunity as an intermediary. In the notice sent as ‘one last opportunity for microblogging website, MeitY said that the company has failed to comply with the user of the order Section 69(A) on multiple occasions.

Reports suggest that the Government had sent notices on June 6 and June 9 to block content that has not been complied with yet.

The notice was addressed to the Chief Compliance Officer of Twitter. It stated that the designated officer of the ministry issued several directions to block certain pieces of content and accounts under Section 69(A) of the Information Technology Act that empowers the GoI to issue blocking notices to the social media companies. However, Twitter did not comply with several orders. Notably, the company had submitted a list of 80 accounts blocked following the government orders from 2021.

If Twitter fails to comply with the orders by July 4, it will risk losing its status as an intermediary. In case it happens, the social media giant will be liable for the content posted by the users on the platform. Indian Express quoted a senior government official without taking his name. The official said, “The notices sent to Twitter pertain to several cases, both where the government had asked it to take down certain content and where the company had wrongfully taken down some content.”

Amendments in regulations expected soon

Notably, fresh amendments to the regulations issued by the government to govern intermediaries like Facebook, Twitter and others have been proposed by the ministry. One of the proposals suggests setting up government-appointed grievance committees that will have the power to review and revoke content moderation actions taken by the social media companies.

Twitter has failed to comply with orders before

This is not the first time Twitter found itself in trouble with the Government of India. In May 2021, after the new set of regulations to monitor and regulate the content of social media came to power, Twitter was supposed to appoint an external person as an India-based grievance officer. However, the company delayed it for months and got into a legal battle but, in the end, had to appoint the grievance officer. Twitter has, on multiple occasions, failed to comply with the blocking notices issued by the Government of India and has been warned of serious consequences by the GoI for the same.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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