Twitter has lost its six months legal battle with the Indian court. The social media company can no longer use its liability protection against user-generated content in the country, according to the Indian court that released its court filing.
The tension between Twitter and India escalated when South Asian countries released their new IT rules.
Twitter Loses Legal Battle With India
In a court filing on June 5, New Delhi stated that as a result of Twitter's lawsuit, the social media platform had lost its immunity in the country after the social media company failed to comply with the new IT rules, which were announced in February and were implemented in May.
According to the report by TechCrunch, it is the Indian court, and not the Indian government, that holds power to decide whether Twitter gets to keep its immunity in the country's internet market.
Internet services get to use liability protection, which means social media platforms won't be held liable for the things that users post or share online.
If a user insults someone on Twitter, the company may be asked to take down the post or ban the user, but the company won't be held legally responsible for what the user said or did.
Without liability protection, Twitter is now responsible for everything that Indian users say on its platform. According to App Annie, Twitter has more than 100 million users in India.
Failure to Comply With the Requirements
The decision came after tension escalates between the Indian government and Twitter, according to Engadget.
Other social media giants such as Facebook and Google have fully complied with the country's new IT rules, which requires any social media firm to appoint a chief complaint officer, a nodal contact person to address immediate concerns, and a resident grievance officer.
Unfortunately, Twitter has not complied with any of the requirements. Twitter had not posted any comments regarding the filing but has stated in the past that it intends to comply with India's new IT rules.
India's IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a conference that all social media platforms are "welcome to do business in India as long as they obey India's laws."
Prasad added that US-based social media companies are bound by American laws.
Even though they operate in India, they still assume that American laws govern them, and the Indian government finds it unacceptable.
Without liability protection, Twitter executives in India could now face several criminal charges over violent Twitter posts. As of July 6, the Indian police have filed at least five cases against Twitter over various issues.
A squad of police officers from New Delhi surprised two of Twitter's offices back in May, with Twitter executives calling it an intimidation tactic.
Twitter stated that at the time, it was concerned by the events regarding their employees in India. Twitter said the lawsuit is a threat to freedom of speech and freedom of expression for the people.
Twitter requested the Indian government to grant it three more months to comply with the new IT rules.
WhatsApp is another social media platform that has failed to comply with the new IT rules. The IT rules also mandate operators of encrypted messaging apps to introduce a new way for law enforcement to trace the originator of violent messages.
WhatsApp, which has more than 530 million users in India, sued the Indian government in May over the new IT rules, saying that tracking down users would violate their privacy rights.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sophie Webster