The three months ultimatum given by the Indian authorities to social media companies demanding that they comply with its new IT rules expired on the 25th of this month and many of these social media companies have still not complied with these rules.
Not up to 48 hours ago, WhatsApp filed a lawsuit complaining about the Government’s new IT rules. According to WhatsApp, the new IT rules is totally against everything the company stands for regards privacy, the company emphasized that the new IT rules require that privacy protections be broken.
Two of Twitter’s offices were visited on Monday by Delhi police requesting that the company adhere to the new IT rules. According to the tech giant, the surprise visit was an act of intimidation. Twitter did not fail to show its concerns regarding some of the requirement the new IT rules is asking of it. Twitter mentioned that it is “concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve”, the company said in regards to the police’s visit on Monday.
Twitter showed solidarity by saying it joins the many other organizations in India and around the world that have “concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global Terms of service, as well as with core elements of the new IT rules’.
Twitter, however, revealed that it plans on following the rules but has concerns over some of the rules. “We plan to advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that inhibit free, open public conversation. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government and believe that it is critical to adopt a collaborative approach. It is the collective responsibility of elected officials, industry, and civil society to safeguard the interests of the public”
India is one of the largest markets for social media companies like Twitter. Twitter has about 175 million users in India alone, according to estimates by the government.
Twitter requested a minimum of three months extension to comply with the new IT rules and publish Standard Operating Protocols on areas related to compliance with public consultation.
Twitter, and extensively American tech giants have been in the bad books of the Indian Government for months now. Twitter received criticisms after it refused to block accounts of users that criticized New Delhi reforms and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.