Twitter begins exec hiring to comply with India’s new IT rules

FILE PHOTO: The Twitter application is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/File Photo

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc’s (TWTR.N) India unit has appointed an interim chief compliance officer and will soon designate two other executives to comply with the country’s new IT rules, the social media giant said in a court filing on Thursday.

The IT rules, which became effective end-May, are aimed at regulating content on social media and making firms act more swiftly on legal requests for removal of posts and sharing details on the originators of messages.

The Indian government said in a court filing earlier this week that Twitter no longer has liability protection against user-generated content in India as the U.S. microblogging giant has failed to comply with the new rules.

The filing came in a case against Twitter by a user who wanted to complain about some allegedly defamatory tweets on the platform and said the company was not complying with the new IT rules, which also require the appointment of certain new executives.

Twitter will try to fill the nodal contact person’s job on an interim basis within 2 weeks and would appoint an interim grievance officer on or before July 11, the company said in the June 8 filing.

It has posted job openings for all three positions and will try to make an offer of employment to resident Indians, as asked by rules, within 8 weeks, Twitter said.

“While Twitter is striving to comply with the 2021 Rules, Twitter reserves its right to challenge the legality, validity… of the Rules,” Twitter said in the filing.

The San Francisco, California-based company is setting up a liaison office in India, it added.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

India’s technology ministry has previously slammed Twitter publicly for deliberately defying the law and said all social media firms must abide by the new rules.

As tension escalates between the U.S. firm and authorities, Indian police have filed at least five cases in recent weeks against Twitter or its officials.

Police in two Indian states have named Twitter India boss Manish Maheshwari in complaints. The state of Uttar Pradesh has challenged in the Supreme Court a bar on police action against Maheshwari, after a lower court protected him against arrest over an accusation that the platform was used to spread hate.