Twitter Names India Grievance Officer, Releases Transparency Report

Twitter Inc. has appointed a new grievance officer in India and released a monthly transparency report as it looks to comply with the country’s new internet regulations.

The U.S. social media giant appointed Vinay Prakash as the resident grievance officer, according to information updated on its website. Prakash will replace Dharmendra Chatur who had stepped down from the role in June.

Over the past few months, Twitter has been at loggerheads with the Indian government for failing to adhere with the new internet rules that took effect in February. These rules require intermediaries such as Twitter, Google, YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp to appoint representatives to redress grievances. If rules are violated, penalties, including jail terms, can be imposed.

Last week, the government had told the Delhi High Court that Twitter has lost immunity that is granted to intermediaries under the new IT law. Twitter had then vowed to fully comply with the new internet rules by appointing an grievance officer by July 11 and set up an India office within eight weeks.

Facebook, WhatsApp and Google have already made such appointments and started generating user grievance reports, as required by the new rules. The development comes soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet reshuffle saw Ravi Shankar Prasad being replaced as the country’s IT minister by former bureacrat Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Twitter has also released a transparency report—which is also one of the requirements under the new rules. The report lists complaints recieved from users via the grievance mechanism in India and the action that was taken on them.

According to the report, between May 26 and June 25, Twitter suspended over 18,000 accounts for sharing content related to child sexual exploitation and non-consensual nudity. It took action over 133 links that were shared which were related to various issues ranging from abuse, defamation, misinformation and privacy infringement.

“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,” Twitter said in the report.

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