New Delhi: The Centre has given one final warning to social networking site Twitter to appoint India-based officers after the country’s new rules for social media companies amid an escalating standoff on Saturday. The government said that failing to do so, it will face “consequences”.
“Twitter Inc. is hereby given one last notice to immediately comply with the Rules, failing which the exemption from liability available under Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000 shall stand withdrawn and Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India,” the government was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The move came on a day when Twitter briefly removed the “blue tick” verification badge from Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s handle since it had not been logged in for six months.
Government sources described the issue as “outrageous” and it signalled a further deterioration of ties between Twitter and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration. The two have clashed over a range of issues, including the Centre’s stand on the new rules for social media platforms and the discrediting of certain tweets from prominent BJP leaders.
The government has threatened to revoke Twitter’s indemnity under Section 79 of the IT Act, which means that the platform could be held accountable for content posted by users. Currently, social media platforms, as intermediaries, enjoy the protection that holds users accountable for posts deemed illegal, reported NDTV.