Twitter's Interim Grievance Officer Resigns as Tussle With Govt Over IT Rules Continues

Instead, a US employee's name now appears in that space – global legal policy director Jeremy Kessel.

New Delhi: Twitter’s interim resident grievance officer for India has stepped down, leaving the platform without a grievance official as mandated by the new IT rules. A Twitter source told PTI that Dharmendra Chatur, who was recently appointed as the interim resident grievance officer for India by Twitter, has quit from the post.

The social media company’s website no longer displays his name, as required under Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. Instead, a US employee’s name now appears in that space – global legal policy director Jeremy Kessel.

The Wire reached out to Twitter India, asking whether Chatur had quit so that a full-time replacement could be appointed. In its response, the social media company said that it would not comment on the matter.

The development comes at a time when the platform has been engaged in a tussle with the Indian government over the new social media rules. The new rules which came into effect from May 25 mandate social media companies to establish a grievance redressal mechanism for resolving complaints from the users.

All significant social media companies, with over 50 lakh user base shall appoint a grievance officer to deal with such complaints and share the name and contact details of such officers. The big social media companies are mandated to appoint a chief compliance officer, a Nodal Contact Person and a resident grievance officer. All of them should be resident in India, the rules.

Also read: IT Rules Flout Intl Human Rights Norms, Says UN Experts; ‘Misplaced Concern,’ Says India

Twitter in response to the final notice issued by the government on June 5 had said that it intends to comply with the new IT rules and will share details of the chief compliance officer. In the meantime, the company had appointed Chatur as interim resident grievance officer for India.

The government has been criticising Twitter for its failure to comply with the new rules. However, many digital rights activists and others believe that rules will only increase government control on what can and can’t be said on social media. WhatsApp, which is run by Facebook, has challenged the validity of these rules in court.

(With PTI inputs)