Twitter's Grievance Officer, In Spotlight Over War With Centre, Resigns

Twitter had appointed an interim grievance redressal officer - a partner at a law firm that represents the company - to follow the government's new rules.

Twitter has been locked in a months-long clash with the BJP-led government at the centre.

New Delhi:

Twitter's new interim grievance redressal officer in the country, appointed less than a month ago to follow India's new rules for social networking websites, has resigned amid the company's bitter feud with the government, NDTV has learnt.

Twitter has been locked in a months-long clash with the BJP-led government at the centre over issues ranging from requests to take down tweets supporting the farmers' protest, discrediting posts by leaders of the BJP and more recently new regulation.

The new rules for social networking websites - which include appointing India-based compliance executives and other conditions - have led to a protracted feud, raising concerns that Twitter may no longer enjoy protection against user-generated content.

On May 31, Twitter told the Delhi High Court that it was appointing Dharmendra Chatur, partner at a law firm that represented Twitter as its interim grievance redressal officer. However, the government said it could not accept the appointment of outsiders to statutory posts.

Since then, ties between the company and the government have worsened with the police in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh summoning Twitter's India chief Manish Maheshwari for failing to stop the spread of a video that allegedly was aimed at inciting religious discord.

The case marked possibly the first time where a social media company was held liable for user-generated content in any democratic country. The government said Twitter has lost the legal cover for such posts since it has not met conditions of the new law.

The new rules or the so-called Intermediary Guidelines, announced in February, are aimed at regulating content on social media firms such as Facebook, its WhatsApp messenger and Twitter, making them more accountable to legal requests for swift removal of posts and sharing details on the originators of messages.

The rules also require big social media companies to set up grievance redressal mechanisms and appoint new executives to coordinate with law enforcement.

A spokesperson from Twitter declined to comment on the issue on Sunday but in the past the company has said it is making "every possible effort" to follow the rules.