Twitter given three weeks to comply with Indian content code

Appears to have taken first step by appointing grievance officer

Twitter has been given three weeks to comply with India’s Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 – which came into effect last week.

Twitter has protested the new rules on grounds that they inhibit free speech. India’s government has labelled Twitter’s reaction as anti-democratic meddling in the nation’s affairs.

The ruling compelling Twitter to get its house in order came yesterday in the form of an order from the Delhi High Court, which heard a petition from an Indian citizen who complained that the micro-blogging service had not complied with the Code’s requirement to appoint a grievance officer in India.

During the hearing, Twitter revealed it has made an appointment to that role. The company has since posted contact details for that officer, naming contacts in the USA and India – and a single email address – as the point of contact for individual Indians and government agencies that wish to raise problems with content on Twitter.

Appointment of a grievance officer is one of many requirements social media companies are obliged to implement under the new Code. The officer is required to take down risqué images within 24 hours, and deleting content as ordered by the government or courts no more than 36 hours after receiving a takedown notice.

India’s government has stated that grievance officers are needed to ensure that child exploitation material does not persist online if automated filters for such material – another requirement in the Code – do not work. The Code also requires social networks and messaging services to “enable identification of the first originator” of material posted to such services. That requirement has been roundly criticised as effectively breaking end-to-end encryption and seen WhatsApp sue India, reportedly on grounds that it violates privacy guarantees in India’s constitution.

Twitter has made no further obvious comment on the Delhi High Court ruling, which may be a function of it having been made over a holiday weekend in the USA.

It’s unclear what would happen to Twitter if it does not comply with the new court order, but India’s national and state governments have often implemented blocks on social networks when it is felt the content they carry could incite violence by merely informing users of the time and location of protests. That India has imposed blocks using that logic is one reason entities covered by the new Code find it unacceptable and hope to amend its wording to offer better protection for free speech. However public opinion in India is currently running firmly in the government’s favour on this matter. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Other stories you might like

  • Microsoft Azure to spin up AMD MI200 GPU clusters for 'large scale' AI training
    Windows giant carries a PyTorch for chip designer and its rival Nvidia

    Microsoft Build Microsoft Azure on Thursday revealed it will use AMD's top-tier MI200 Instinct GPUs to perform “large-scale” AI training in the cloud.

    “Azure will be the first public cloud to deploy clusters of AMD's flagship MI200 GPUs for large-scale AI training,” Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott said during the company’s Build conference this week. “We've already started testing these clusters using some of our own AI workloads with great performance.”

    AMD launched its MI200-series GPUs at its Accelerated Datacenter event last fall. The GPUs are based on AMD’s CDNA2 architecture and pack 58 billion transistors and up to 128GB of high-bandwidth memory into a dual-die package.

    Continue reading
  • New York City rips out last city-owned public payphones
    Y'know, those large cellphones fixed in place that you share with everyone and have to put coins in. Y'know, those metal disks representing...

    New York City this week ripped out its last municipally-owned payphones from Times Square to make room for Wi-Fi kiosks from city infrastructure project LinkNYC.

    "NYC's last free-standing payphones were removed today; they'll be replaced with a Link, boosting accessibility and connectivity across the city," LinkNYC said via Twitter.

    Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said, "Truly the end of an era but also, hopefully, the start of a new one with more equity in technology access!"

    Continue reading
  • Cheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems
    Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

    Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

    ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

    "ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

    Continue reading
  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    As shareholders sue the social network amid Elon Musk's takeover scramble

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022