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Daily Digest | Twitter’s drawn-out brawl over control in India

Written by The Uptake Published on   2 mins read

Can Twitter remain in India?

Hey there. It’s Brady.

One of my colleagues in Bangalore, Avanish, has been following the row between Twitter and India’s government for months. In the saga’s latest twist, Twitter’s interim grievance redressal officer, Dharmendra Chatur, left his post before a full month went by.

Let’s back up a bit. Chatur was appointed in early June, days after Indian authorities expressed disapproval over Twitter’s noncompliance with the country’s new IT rules, which state social media companies need to appoint three people as liaisons with government organs—a grievance redressal officer, a nodal officer, and a compliance officer.

At its core, the tussle between Twitter and the Modi administration is about control over what people can say and post online. India’s new, controversial IT rules mandate that social media firms must remove content within 36 hours of a legal order. You can see the slippery slope ahead.

While multinational tech companies mount legal challenges against the new rules—Twitter and WhatsApp are both suing the Indian government—upstarts are displacing them bit by bit. Avanish wrote earlier that the government-friendly Koo is now eating into Twitter’s presence in India, and Twitter runs the risk of losing its social media “intermediary” status if it fails to comply with the new IT rules.

This story is far from over, and we expect many tweetstorms to come. KrASIA will continue to provide updates on this front as new developments unfold.

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