133 posts actioned, 18k accounts suspended: Twitter’s first compliance report under new rules
Twitter filed its first grievance redressal report as mandated under India’s new social media and intermediary guidelines and the micro blogging site claims to have acted against 133 posts for reasons ranging from harassment to privacy infringement and suspended over 18,000 accounts for “child sexual exploitation and non-consensual nudity”.
“In addition to the above data, we processed 56 grievances which were appealing Twitter account suspensions. These were all resolved and the appropriate responses were sent. We overturned 7 of the account suspensions based on the specifics of the situation, but the other accounts remain suspended,” the report released on Sunday states. The report covers the period from May 25 to June 26.
Twitter becomes the third major social media firm after Facebook and Google to release a report in keeping with the new rules that triggered its conflict with the Central government. The new IT rules, which came into effect on May 26, among other important requirements, mandate the appointment of three key personnel - chief compliance officer, nodal officer and grievance officer by social media platforms with more than five million users. All these three officers have to be residents in India. Twitter, however, had failed to appoint a grievance officer and the government said it was intentionally refusing to comply with India’s domestic laws resulting in losing its status as an intermediary, which meant it could be held responsible for any unlawful content posted by users.
Twitter told the Delhi high court on Sunday that it has now appointed an interim grievance redressal officer, apart from nodal contact person and compliance officer and will publish a monthly compliance report which includes the details of complaints from users via the India grievance mechanism and action taken on them, as well as information related to Twitter’s proactive monitoring efforts, under the IT Rules.
Moreover, Twitter said it had suspended 18,385 accounts for child sexual exploitation and 4,179 for promotion of terrorism. “Proactive Monitoring refers to content proactively identified by employing internal proprietary tools and industry hash sharing initiatives,” the firm said in its report.
Facebook, in its report last week, released under India’s new Information Technology rules, said it removed a little over 30 million pieces of content including posts and profiles’ pages between May 15 and June 15.
The links taken down related to content that was violent and graphic, contained adult nudity and sexual activity, and suicide and self-injury. The report released on Friday is an interim disclosure and the company said it will publish details on July 15.
Facebook-owned Instagram said it took action on two million links across nine categories in the same period. Another Facebook company, WhatsApp, has challenged the IT rules for its traceability clause.
“Facebook’s India-specific numbers are more detailed than offered to other countries,” a person familiar with the matter said. According to the social media firm’s last quarter transparency report, it acted on 31.8 million urls for adult nudity from January 2021 to March 2021; while in India, the number stood at 1.8 million for the month.
In terms of graphic and violent content, the company proactively took down 34.3 million posts, pages and profiles, with India’s number for May 15 to June 15 was 2.5 million.