The Centre’s Narendra Modi government on Saturday issued ‘one last notice’ to Twitter after the latter reportedly did not comply with the new IT rules. The notice from the ministry of electronics and information came amidst Twitter removing the verified status of the Twitter account held by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
The government said that it was ‘dismayed to note that your responses to the Ministry’s letters neither address the clarifications sought by the ministry nor indicate full compliance with the Rules.’
The new IT Act, although described draconian by many, came into effect on 26 May. Twitter has till date not complied with the new act. The ministry said in its hard-hitting notice, “The refusal to comply demonstrates Twitter’s lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India and its platform… it is beyond belief that Twitter Inc has doggedly refused to create mechanisms that will enable the people of India to resolve their issues on the platform in a timely and transparent manner and through fair processes, by India based, clearly identified resources. Leave alone proactively creating such a mechanism, Twitter Inc is in the inglorious bracket of refusing to do so even when mandated by law.”
The notice by the Indian government read, “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with the Rules, failing which the exemption from liability available under Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000 shall stand withdrawn and Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India.”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 notice by the ministry coincided with Twitter’s decision to remove the blue tick from several RSS leaders including Mohan Bhagwat and Venkaiah Naidu. While Twitter has restored Naidu’s verified status, it has not done so in the case of RSS leaders.