Failing to comply with IT Rules: Twitter loses Safe Harbour in India

After failing to appoint statutory officers and comply with the new IT rules, the Microblogging platform Twitter has lost its safe harbour immunity in India, as per media reports.

According to reports, Twitter officials, including the country managing director, could face police questioning and criminal liability under IPC over ‘unlawful’ and ‘inflammatory’ content posted on the platform by any user.

Twitter becomes the only American platform to lose the protective shield under Section 79 of the IT Act, which exempts intermediary liability in some instances.

On June 5, the centre gave Twitter the ultimatum to comply with the new IT rules. The notice issued by the government to Twitter said that it is provided “one last chance” to comply with the latest IT rules immediately. The government has warned that if Twitter fails to abide by these rules, it will forfeit the exemption from liability under the IT Act.

With this, Twitter has lost its safe harbour protection and now stands exposed to action under the IPC for any third-party unlawful content.

Sahil Chopra, Founder & CEO- iCubesWire said “Twitter including other social media giants were extremely helpful in helping and connecting people during the second wave of Covid-19, which was appreciated globally. However, following India’s laws and regulations are paramount for any company. With so much of fake news being spread through social media platforms, it is important to keep a tab on offensive content specially where religious sentiments can be hurt or fake news is spread on COVID vaccination. We are hopeful the Indian govt. and Twitter can work thing out soon to ensure Indian laws and rules are followed.”



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