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The year 2021 is undoubtedly going not so well for Microblogging and Social Networking Giant Twitter.
Besides its ongoing conflict with the Government of India, the company is currently undergoing an indefinite suspension after the site’s action against the Nigerian President’s tweet.
In another series of events, Twitter on Saturday removed the verified tick from the personal account of M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India.
Although the company clarified its action and restored the verified badge, the act attracted heavy criticism.
Did you know that besides the Vice President, Twitter also took down the verified tick of some renowned Indians?
Also, have you heard about the final notice to Twitter by the Government of India over its non-compliance with New IT Rules 2021?
In either case, stick throughout the entire article to get answers to all your confusion regarding the whole matter.
Also, if you want to read about the fiasco created among the social media companies over the New IT Rules, don’t forget to check our article on the same.
What all happened?
The social networking giant was already under GOI’s scanner due to non-compliance with the New IT Rules 2021.
And suddenly, out of the blue on Saturday morning, it removed the verified blue tick from the personal account of Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
However, Twitter managed to restore the blue verified badge to his account when it came to their notice.
Although it was the Vice President’s account, the act amid the already strained relations was considered dubious by the masses.
As expected from the coincident meeting of events, netizens on several social media sites started demanding a ban on the company that currently runs under Jack Dorsey’s leadership.
Similarly, a few days back, the demand for banning the social media networking site raged up over their non-compliance with New IT Rules 2021.
Ensure to read our previous article to know about the previous ‘TWITTER BAN’ trend in a much more detailed manner.
Besides taking down the verified badge from the Vice President’s personal account, it also removed the verified badges of RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and some other prominent RSS members, including Suresh Soni, Krishna Kumar & Arun Kumar.
Considering the affiliation between RSS & BJP, withdrawing the verified badge from RSS Chief’s account also received backlash from the followers of both organizations.
However, the verified badges were restored by the company within the span of a few hours.
Clarification of Twitter on Removing & Restoring Verified badges(Blue Tick)
In response to the uproar on the social networking sites, Twitter clarified that removing verified badges was automated due to the inactivity of the concerned accounts.
According to the reports, the official spokesperson added that the vice president’s account hasn’t been active since July 2020.
Consequently, the account’s verified badge got disinvested, adhering to the verification policy of the company.
As per Twitter’s verification policy, any verified individual who abstains from logging in at least once in 6 months would lose the verified badge or the famous blue tick.
The verification policy, available in the public domain, highlights some critical instances where the Jack-Dorsey led company might remove the verified badges-
- If a verified user changes his/her username(@username) on the platform.
- When an account remains inactive or incomplete for a prolonged period.
- In situations when an official vacates his authoritative position because of which he got verified.
Besides the instances mentioned above, verified badges from accounts can get removed if they fail to sustain the company’s criteria for verification.
On January 21 of this year, Twitter Support tweeted about the same verification policy.
Therefore as per the clarification, the verified badges from the accounts of the Vice President, RSS Chief & other RSS dignitaries were removed because of their account’s inactivity.
Final Notice over Non-Compliance
The New IT Rules 2021 came into effect on May 26, and the social media companies such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Google, and even Twitter got asked for their stand on compliance with the new rules.
In response to this, Google, Facebook, and WhatsApp assured their compliance and sent the necessary details asked by the Ministry to the concerned officials.
On May 28, the Ministry clarified the company’s non-compliance with the rules by highlighting discrepancies and lack of necessary details.
As a consequence of their non-compliance, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY) sent one last notice as a goodwill gesture.
The letter highlighted the unresponsiveness of the company in providing necessary details about the Chief Compliance Officer.
The letter also pointed out discrepancies in details of the Resident Grievance Officer, Nodal Contact Person & the office address of Twitter Inc. in India.
The letter concluded with a reminder to the social media giant over the non-compliance with the new rules.
It clearly stated that failure to comply could lead to the ‘unintended consequences including Twitter losing exemption from liability as intermediary available under section 79 of IT Act, 2000.’
In a recent series of events on 16th June, The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) sources disclosed that Twitter’s failure to comply with the New IT Rules finally ended the intermediary status of the platform.
It implies that Twitter would be liable to legal complications if any post on the platform by its users attract controversy in the country.
And coincidentally on 16th June, when the company loses the intermediary status as reported by ANI, The Uttar Pradesh Police registered a FIR against the social media giant for a case where fake information got propogated through the platform.
However, Twitter India spokesperson highlighted that the company was putting it’s best foot forward to comply with the new rules.
Furthermore, it stated that the company had retained an Interim Chief compliance officer and was looking forward to share the details regarding the same with MeitY.
To know about the consequences in detail, don’t forget to check our previous article.
Twitter’s recent international conflicts
Apart from their ongoing conflicts within India, as discussed above, the Jack Dorsey-led company is also facing an international backlash.
- Early this week, when the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, tweeted against the separatists in Nigeria, the microblogging site deleted the post citing the violation of rules.
After which, the Nigerian government indefinitely suspended the services of Twitter.
The Minister of Information of Nigeria stated that “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence” was the cause behind the suspension.
- On June 4, Twitter, because of some allegedly objectionable tweets regarding a protest, temporarily suspended the account of Yair Netanyahu for twelve hours.
Yair Netanyahu is the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Owing to the temporary suspension, the social media giant received backlash from a sizeable number of Yair Netanyahu followers.