Earlier today, we reported that Dharmendra Chatur has stepped down from his position as the interim resident grievance officer for Twitter in India as the micro-blogging site and the ruling BJP government continue to cross swords. Now, Twitter has filled Chatur’s place by appointing its Global Legal Policy Director, Jeremy Kessel, as the new grievance officer in India to comply with the Centre’s new IT rules.
However, the company is not out of the woods yet, as the appointment of Kessel might be the topic of yet another contention between Twitter and the government since the rules require an Indian resident for this role and the others, including that of a chief compliance officer.
Chatur was appointed as the interim resident grievance officer after Twitter had announced, after the deadline had passed, that it would comply with the new IT rules, appointing a nodal contractual person and resident grievance officer (Chatur) on a contractual basis and was in advanced stages of finalizing the appointment to the role of a chief compliance officer.
Kessel, who hails from California and has been with Twitter for quite some time, is likely to be at the center of the next controversy between Twitter and the Centre, as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had made it clear that only residents of India were eligible for the role. MeitY had slammed Twitter in a letter on June 5, writing that Twitter refused to comply with the provisions more than a week after the rules for major social media intermediaries came into effect (May 26).
That had led to Twitter losing it’s immunity as a social media intermediary as it would now be responsible for content on its platform and vulnerable to lawsuits.
The appointment of a resident grievance officer to address complaints 24*7 from Indian subscribers was one of the many requirements which social media intermediaries with a user base of over 50 lakh had to fulfil. And while Twitter made the necessary appointment, this might be yet another addition to the bitter feud the company is engaged in with the Indian government.