Twitter has somewhat agreed to “fully comply” with India’s new social media rules after the government said its lack of compliance meant it could be held legally liable for its user’s posts, Bloomberg reports. According to Reuters, a lawyer from the company responded to the government’s filings, stating, that the company has already appointed an interim chief compliance officer and that it would soon have a grievance officer and an employee to respond to law enforcement requests. The company also said it would be setting up an India liaison office in the next eight weeks.
Now, what would have happened if Twitter hadn’t complied with the new rules? In simplest terms, it would have made them lawfully obligated for users’ posts on its platform, possibly permitting its executives to face criminal indictments over user-created content. Social media platforms frequently bring down content because of lawful difficulties, yet they’re for the most part not considered obligated for it in any case.
If Twitter does not comply with the new social media rules, the Indian government can take action against it. The company was therefore given a deadline of two weeks to appoint all the executives and make the necessary changes. Other tech companies, like Facebook and Google, have already started appointing employees to the relevant positions in response to the regulations.
In May, the company’s office in India was raided by the police after it labeled a government official’s tweets as “manipulated media.” A government official warned the company of “unintended consequences” if it does not comply with the new rules. As the world’s largest market apart from China, Twitter cannot afford to lose its foothold in India.
According to Reuters, while the company said it will comply with the rules, it said it reserves the right to challenge its legality and validity. Twitter is not the first company to have conflicts with the new rules laid down by the Indian government. WhatsApp, in May, also filed a lawsuit against the Indian government over a requirement that WhatsApp would have to trace the origins of messages sent on its platform. The firm argued that this is unconstitutional, would force it to undermine its users’ privacy, and risks breaking the end-to-end encryption offered by its service.