Twitter on Sunday appointed California-based Jeremy Kessel as the new Grievance Officer for India, hours after Dharmendra Chatur quit from the post of interim Grievance Officer. The appointment of Grievance Officer is required under the new Information Technology Rules, 2021,
Jeremy Kessel is the Global Legal Policy Director of Twitter and operated out of San Fransisco, California. His appointment is not seen to be in line with new IT rules guidelines, which direct digital media platforms to appoint a resident grievance officer who should be based out of India. The guidelines state that the official should be part of a larger grievance redressal mechanism, active monitoring of content on the platform, responsiveness to grievances, expedited processes to take down certain content, monthly compliance reports for Indian users, self-regulation mechanisms and also an oversight mechanism created by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
This move of Twitter may open up another front in the face-off between Twitter and the Indian government. The development comes at a time when the micro-blogging platform has been engaged in a tussle with the Indian government over the new social media rules. The government has criticised Twitter for deliberate defiance and failure to comply with the country’s new IT rules. Due to delay in appointment of the officers, Twitter had already lost its ‘safe harbour’ granted under the IT Act, making it liable for criminal and penal action for any unlawful content posted on its platform.
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 micro-blogging platform had appointed Chatur as interim resident grievance officer for India.