Twitter relents, appoints grievance officer, releases transparency report
13 July 2021
An adamant Twitter, which so far held fort against the Indian government’s new information technology rules and customer protection guidelines, finally announced the appointment of a grievance officer and also released a transparency report, complying with the new rules.
Twitter on Sunday appointed Vinay Prakash as its Resident Grievance Officer for India and published a ‘transparency report’ on the management of user complaints in India from 26 May 2021 to 25 June 2021.
Twitter fell in line after the Delhi High Court refused to allow any interim protection to Twitter and noted that it is open to the government to pursue any action regarding the social media platform in accordance with Article 4(d) of India's Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules.
The rules require Twitter to publish a monthly 'transparency report' regarding user grievances and proactive monitoring of the microblogging platform.
The court also noted that Twitter is facing contempt of court for failure in clarifying that the grievance officer appointed was interim in nature.
Twitter had informed the court that the process of appointing a grievance officer, compliance officer, and nodal officer was underway and that it had sought eight weeks’ time to hire personnel for the posts.
The interim resident grievance officer for India, Dharmendra Chatur had quit in June, leaving the microblogging site without a grievance official as mandated by the new rules.
Twitter India's Transparency Report, its first report in compliance with the new IT Rules, details information regarding complaints received by the grievance officer and also addresses Twitter's proactive monitoring efforts in India.
"Going forward, we will be publishing this report on a monthly basis, and we are committed to making improvements over time, based on feedback received from the government, or in accordance with internal changes that allow for us to provide more granular data," the company stated.
As per the report, the resident grievance officer received 20 defamation complaints, following which it took action against 87 URLs. They also received six complaints that were categorised as abuse or harassment, which led to action against 38 URLs. Other complaints included three complaints each against impersonation and privacy infringement and four complaints that fell under sensitive adult content.
Additionally, Twitter said it processed 56 grievances, which appealed for Twitter account suspensions and overturned seven of the account suspensions based on the specifics of the situation, while taking appropriate action against the others.
The row erupted after the police filed an FIR against Twitter based on a complaint by NCPCR on availability of child pornographic material on Twitter.