Twitter appoints 'grievance officer' to obey India's internet rules

Another officer has also been appointed.

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addresses students during a town hall at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis
REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

Twitter is scrambling to reassure India and reclaim its liability protections for user-made content. Bloomberg reports that Twitter has told an Indian court it appointed grievance and nodal officers to honor new rules demanding local full-time staff to handle handle issues like compliance and law enforcement matters. The court previously claimed Twitter was in "total noncompliance" and had stripped the protections, leaving Twitter legally vulnerable if users posed illegal material.

Police have filed cases against Twitter multiple times based on user actions, including child pornography violations or posting controversial political maps.

The social media giant isn't safe yet. The government will have to determine whether or not the executives put India in compliance with the rules. Another hearing is due on August 10th. Companies like Facebook, Google and Telegram have already complied the requirements.

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Twitter has had a fractious relationship with the Indian government. The social media giant refused to block critics of the Indian government after officials threatened to arrest employees in early February. Accordingly, India ordered Twitter to pull criticism of its pandemic response after COVID-19 cases surged in April. The alleged rule violations just represented an escalation of already-high tensions in that regard. Not that Twitter has much choice but to comply — leaving the Indian market would deliver a serious blow to its business while having little impact on censorship in the country.

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