The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting jointly introduced the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 20211 on the 25th February 2021 to put restrictions on digital platforms in India. The rules provided a window of three months to allow major social media companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & WhatsApp to comply with the special provisions.
The new rules came into effect on the 26th May 2021.
Twitter, since the beginning of this year, has expressed its engagement2 with the Indian authorities to tackle abuses that could trigger offline harm. On 20th April 2021, Twitter announced3 that it has expanded its engineering team in India.
On the 27th May 2021, through a press release, Meity accused Twitter of attempting to dictate its terms to the world's largest democracy.
Press Release by Ministry of Electronics and IT in response to the statements made by Twitter Inc. pic.twitter.com/hQxCGuoEaG— Ministry of Electronics & IT (@GoI_MeitY) May 27, 2021
On the 5th of June 2021, MeitY gave Twitter a final notice on its non-compliance with the new IT rules, which requires Twitter to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer and communicate the details to MeitY.
Government of India gives final notice to Twitter for compliance with new IT rules. pic.twitter.com/98S0Pq8g2U— ANI (@ANI) June 5, 2021
Major news & media organizations picked up this story and are keen to see how it unfolds. This can set a precedence for other countries looking to hold the reins on social media companies.