Facing criticism, Twitter restores Blue Tick of India’s Vice President and RSS leaders. IT Ministry issues final notice to adhere to new IT rules

Is Twitter testing the patience of India? Will it be kicked out?

Is Twitter testing the patience of India? Will it be kicked out?
Is Twitter testing the patience of India? Will it be kicked out?

Twitter is still defiant to comply with the new IT (Information Technology) Rules of India and still going with rogue practices. With Twitter cancelling and later restoring the Blue Tick badge of Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and senior leaders, the Ministry of Information Technology on Saturday served a “final notice” to the social media platform to comply with the latest IT Rules. On Friday night Naidu’s personal handle’s verification badge (Blue Tick) was withdrawn and a lot of public outrage was seen on social media and on Saturday morning restored the verification. On Saturday morning the same thing happened to Bhagwat and senior RSS leaders like Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, Krishna Gopal and Arun Kumar. By evening Twitter restored Blue Tick to these accounts.

“After all the hackling verification restored,” said Rajiv Tuli, media in-charge of RSS. Earlier Twitter through its unidentified sources justified their action saying that handles idle for more than six months may invite cancellation of Blue Tick. But when pointed out that many important persons who passed away years ago are still maintaining the account, there was no counter.

The IT Ministry said that it is “despite being operational in India for more than a decade, it is beyond belief that Twitter Inc has doggedly refused to create a mechanism that will enable people of India to resolve their issues on the platform”.

The IT Ministry’s two page “final” notice cautioned Twitter that it will be “liable for a consequence” as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India. “It is clear from your response that to date Twitter has not informed about the details of the Chief Compliance Officer as required under the rules. Further, Resident Grievance Officer, Nodal Contact Person nominated by you is not an employee of Twitter Inc. in India as prescribed in the Rules,” said the Ministry’s notice detailing the non-compliance by Twitter.

IT Ministry reminded Twitter that May 26 was the last day of compliance with new IT Rules. “…and it has been more than a week but Twitter has refused to comply with provisions of these Rules. Needless to say the state, such non-compliance will lead to unintended consequences including Twitter losing exemption from liability as intermediary available under Section 79 of the Information Technology (IT) Act of 2000,” said IT Ministry’s letter addressed to Jim Baker of Twitter Inc, USA.

The IT Ministry said that it is “despite being operational in India for more than a decade, it is beyond belief that Twitter Inc has doggedly refused to create a mechanism that will enable people of India to resolve their issues on the platform”. Reminding Twitter that they are operating in World’s largest democracy, the IT Ministry said: “Leave along proactively creating such a mechanism, Twitter Inc is in the inglorious bracket of refusing to do so even mandated by law.”

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