Twitter Appoints US Employee As Grievance Officer Amid Row With Centre

With the new rules or the so-called Intermediary Guidelines, the government aims to regulate content on social media websites.

Twitter has been locked in months-long battle with the government.

New Delhi:

In the midst of a battle with the government, Twitter has appointed Global Legal Policy Director Jeremy Kessel as the grievance officer for India to follow the centre's new rules for social networking websites. The new rules, however, require an Indian resident for the role.

This comes a day after the social media giant's interim grievance redressal officer in the country, appointed less than a month ago, resigned amid the firm's months-long feud with the government.

Twitter had told the Delhi High Court on May 31 it was appointing Dharmendra Chatur, partner at a law firm that represented Twitter, as the interim officer for the role. But the centre had said it could not accept the appointment of outsiders to statutory posts.

Mr Chatur resigned on Sunday.

With the new rules or the so-called Intermediary Guidelines, the government aims to regulate content on social media websites that have more than 50 lakh users such as Facebook and Twitter, making them more accountable for the user-generated content. The guidelines include appointing India-based compliance executives and other conditions.

Critics have raised concerns that Twitter may no longer enjoy protection against user-generated content.

Last week, Twitter India chief Manish Maheshwari was summoned by the Uttar Pradesh Police days after an FIR was filed against the social media giant over posts - by journalists and politicians - linked to the assault of a Muslim man near Delhi.

Mr Maheshwari was granted temporary protection from arrest by the Karnataka High Court. "If police desire to investigate or question, they may do so by virtual mode," a single-judge bench of Justice G Narender said.

This is the first case against the social media giant after the new rules were brought into effect.

Earlier, tweets linked to farmers' protest against three controversial laws had also generated controversy.