Twitter appoints India-based Grievance Officer, releases transparency report amidst tussle with Modi government over IT rules

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Twitter on Monday announced its India-based Grievance Officer and also released a transparency report in compliance with the new IT rules of the Indian government. Vinay Prakash will be the new Grievance Officer and he can be contacted at grievance-officer-in@twitter.com.

Grievance Officer

Twitter and the Centre’s Narendra Modi government had found themselves at loggerheads after the social media giant did not comply with the new IT rules. Twitter had appointed Dharmendra Chatur as the interim Grievance Officer, but he later resigned after the Indian government refused to approve his appointment.

Twitter India also released its transparency report for July in compliance with the guidelines of the new IT rules. It received six complaints of ‘Abuse / Harassment’ prompting the platform to take action against 38 accounts. The microblogging site also received 38 complaints on ‘Defamation’ triggering action against 87 accounts.

Twitter also took action against one account after receiving a complaint on ‘Misinformation / Synthetic and Manipulated Media.’

The social media platform suspended 18,385 accounts for ‘Child Sexual Exploitation, Non-Consensual Nudity, and similar content.’It suspended 4,179 accounts after receiving complaints for ‘Promotion of Terrorism.’

While releasing the data, Twitter said, “Below is the data we received via our Grievance Officer – India channel between May 26, 2021 and June 25, 2021 that included content on Twitter. This includes complaints received from individual users with accompanying court orders. NOTE: We receive complaints in our Grievance Officer – India channel that relate to account verification, account access, or seeking assistance or information regarding an account or Twitter’s enforcement actions that are not included in the data below. The majority of complaints received in this
channel during this reporting period fell into these categories.”

Twitter said in a statement, “A vast majority of all accounts that are suspended for the promotion of terrorism and child sexual exploitation are proactively flagged by a combination of technology and other purpose-built internal proprietary tools.”

Twitter found itself in a bitter controversy over the non-compliance with the new IT rules. The matter took a dramatic turn after the then IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad complained of being locked out of his own account by Twitter for alleged copyright violations. Days later, Prasad was shown the door from the Narendra Modi government.