On Tuesday, August 10, 2021, the central government informed the Delhi High Court that Twitter had “prima facie” complied with the new Information Technology Rules, 2021, it had permanently appointed a Chief Compliance Officer (COO), a Resident Grievance Officer (RGO) and a Nodal Contact Person (NCP). It seems like things have started to change after Ashwini Vaishnaw took charge as the Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology.
The Delhi High court directed the Centre to submit an affidavit highlighting the new development within two weeks. It had posted the case for October 5, Twitter senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, submitted that the micro blogging site had in compliance with the new IT Rules made the appointments.
Twitter was trying to play smart with the government of India by delaying the appointment of officials on a permanent basis. The court had also expressed doubts over Twitter changing the status of the appointment of CCO from ‘interim’ to ‘contingent’ in its affidavit. The rules also mandated the appointment of a senior employee as CCO, as earlier the micro blogging site had tried to act smart by only appointing a ‘contingent worker’ through a third party contractor.
Twitter in its affidavit stated, “Twitter Inc initially hired Vinay Prakash through a third party contractor… the initial appointment was done this way to expedite it because Twitter Inc did not have a corporate presence in India. The appointment was considered contingent because Twitter Inc is expected to convert the position to a full-time employee as soon as possible. The social media platform has since converted Prakash to a full-time employee effective August 4, 2021,”
Twitter has finally dropped its self-righteous deception and submitted to the revised IT laws of the country. The immediate result of Twitter surrendering to India’s IT laws was evident when Rahul Gandhi’s tweet where he had shown the photo of a rape victim for a mere publicity stunt was taken down.
The tweet showed a picture of Gandhi meeting the family members of a minor girl showed as ‘no longer available on the micro blogging website for violating its rules. A click on the tweet led to a message that read: “This tweet violated the Twitter rules.”
“Parents’ tears are saying only one thing — their daughter, the daughter of this country, deserves justice. And I am with them on this path to justice.” Gandhi had tweeted in Hindi on Wednesday. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chief Priyank Kanoongo has taken cognisance of Rahul’s tweet and has demanded Twitter take suitable action, even after deleting the tweet.
After having been stripped of its intermediary status and being exposed to a burst of criminal litigation in India, Twitter was a mess but it was still resisting the new IT rules. But things have changed after Ashwini Vaishnaw took over, Twitter seems to have realised that the new man put in charge of the IT Ministry is not to be messed with. It has now started falling in line and it seems like the micro blogging platform is taking baby steps towards behaving itself.