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In Parliament, MeitY reveals decision taken on Twitter’s safe harbour immunity; more on ‘manipulated media tag’ issue

Twitter has been in a tussle with the Indian government over compliance with the IT Rules which require social media intermediaries to appoint grievance and nodal contact officers, among others.  In response to two parliamentary questions in the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) revealed that it has made a decision on removing Twitter's safe harbour immunity and said that it "has been engaged" with the social media platform on the issue of "labelling the tweets of some leaders as manipulated media." Responding to a question asked by Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi on the matter, MeitY mentioned that Twitter had been non-compliant with the new IT rules at the time of its deadline of May 26 which makes it liable to lose its safe harbour protection under Section 79 of the IT Act. Meanwhile, in response to Lok Sabha MP Kanumuru Raghu Ramakrishna Raju's question on its investigation into the platform's use of the 'manipulated media tag', MeitY said that it had reached out to Twitter but no specific details on how its policy (on 'Synthetic and Manipulated Media') became applicable has been shared. Why it matters? Twitter has been at odds with the government over the past year. The platform was late in complying with the IT rules which came into effect on May 26. Non-compliance with the IT rules can lead to the loss of a social media platform's safe harbour immunity. At present, there are multiple legal battles that Twitter is fighting in India,…

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