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Twitter loses legal shield in India for 3rd-party content

Twitter loses Legal Shield in India for 3rd-party Content

Due to the company's failure to appoint statutory officers on the company's role under the new IT rules, Twitter has lost its coveted "safe harbour" immunity in India, and its top executives, including the country managing director, could now face police questioning and criminal liability under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for any "unlawful" and "inflammatory" content posted on the platform by any user.

On June 5, the Indian government issued Twitter "one final notice" to comply with the country's new information technology regulations, failing which the company will lose its legal immunity from third-party content uploaded on its platform in the future. In addition to Facebook and Instagram, Google and WhatsApp have all complied with the government's new guidelines and are now safe from lawsuits.

As a result, Twitter becomes the only American platform to have lost the protective shield – provided under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act – while others, such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, continue to enjoy the protection of the law.

However, despite our repeated forbearance, including a time extension, the firm has failed to comply with the new IT Rules. In doing so, Twitter has lost its safe harbour protection and is now subject to civil and criminal liability under the IPC for any unlawful content posted by third parties.