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Twitter’s compliance report reveals 94 grievances from May 26 to June 26 and actions taken against 100 URLs

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The grievances included in the report are related to a wide range of issues including defamation, hateful conduct, terrorism, and child sexual exploitation. 

For the period between May 26 and June 26, Twitter’s Grievance Redressal Officer received 94 grievances which resulted in the social media platform taking action against over 100 URLs, Twitter’s India Transparency Report: User Grievances and Proactive Monitoring July 2021 said. This comes a week after the Delhi High Court criticised the social media platform for not complying with the Information Technology Rules 2021 (for which the last date of compliance was May 26) and amidst a tussle with the Indian government regarding the same rules which mandates platforms like Twitter to publish such compliance reports, apart from other requirements.

The report, which was released on July 11, says that every user’s grievances received from India are assessed under Twitter’s Terms of Service and Twitter Rules.

“..any content that is determined to be in violation is actioned in line with our range of enforcement options. Where appropriate, we also assess whether the grievance meets local legal requirements for Twitter to action the reported content, based on a court order. Users generally have the option to appeal an enforcement action via our appeals process,” Twitter said in their compliance report.

In addition, Twitter processed 56 grievances that were appealing against Twitter account suspensions. The platform said in their compliance report that these grievances were all resolved and responses were sent to the complainers. "We overturned 7 of the account suspensions based on the specifics of the situation, but the other accounts remain suspended," the report added.

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Background: In compliance with Rule 4(1)(d) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and DigitalMedia Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, Twitter is required to publish a monthly compliance report which includes the details of complaints from users via the India grievance mechanism and action taken on them, as well as information related to Twitter’s proactive monitoring efforts under the IT Rules.

On July 8, Twitter had filed a note at the Delhi High Court wherein they declared that the platform will be publishing their compliance report on July 11 as required under Rule 4(d) of the IT Rules for Significant Social Media Intermediaries (who have more than 50 lakh members) by Sunday. Facebook, Google, and Koo have already put out their first monthly reports under this provision.

What is a significant social media intermediary? According to Rule 4(1) of the IT Rules, a “significant social media intermediary”, is a platform having more than 5 million registered users in India. The requirements mandated under the IT Rules 2021 for SSMIs are —

  • Appointment of a chief compliance officer
  • Appointment of a resident grievance officer and nodal contact person
  • Providing address of Twitter's local office
  • Enable traceability of content on the platform

Recently, after Twitter informed Delhi High Court that they were in the process of appointing an interim grievance redressal officer and interim chief compliance officer, the social media platform appointed Vinay Prakash as the former. Twitter had also informed the court that it is in process of setting up a permanent liaison office in India. For now, the platform has set up an office in a Bengaluru address.

Over 18,000 accounts with child sexual exploitation content suspended worldwide

The report's 'Proactive Monitoring Data' section, which reflects figures collected from across the world, said that it suspended 18,385 accounts which had content on child sexual exploitation, non consensual nudity and so on. Apart from that, 4,179 accounts that allegedly promoted terrorism were also suspended.

Twitter said that it acts on material that features or promotes child sexual exploitation — whether in Direct Messages or elsewhere, throughout the service."This includes media, text, illustrations, or computer-generated images. When we remove content, we immediately report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC makes reports available to the appropriate law enforcement agencies around the world to facilitate investigations and prosecutions," the report added.

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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