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Tweets By Mahua Moitra, Swati Chaturvedi Not Violative Of Twitter Policies: Twitter To Delhi High Court

Shreya Agarwal
3 July 2021 3:13 PM GMT
Tweets By Mahua Moitra, Swati Chaturvedi Not Violative Of  Twitter Policies: Twitter To Delhi High Court
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In its reply to a petition filed against Twitter Inc for failure to take action on allegedly derogatory tweets by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and journalist Swati Chaturvedi, Twitter has told the Delhi High Court that, "The tweets are not of a category for which Twitter takes action under our policies, rules and terms of service. We note that you have indicated in your complaint that...

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In its reply to a petition filed against Twitter Inc for failure to take action on allegedly derogatory tweets by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and journalist Swati Chaturvedi, Twitter has told the Delhi High Court that, "The tweets are not of a category for which Twitter takes action under our policies, rules and terms of service. We note that you have indicated in your complaint that the tweets are false, illegal and defamatory."

Twitter replied that as an intermediary, the tweets were not something Twitter could "be arbiter of."

The plea had also sought action against Twitter Inc for its failure to appoint a Resident Grievance Officer as directed under Rule 4 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021) and stated that as per a Government of India circular the same were to be complied with by May 25.

Replying to the same, Twitter submitted that the circular was merely directory and not mandatory in nature, and further subject to "just exceptions".

However, Twitter submits that in compliance with the Rules it had appointed a Resident Grievance Officer and made details of the same available on the website by May 29, however, the appointed officer withdrew his candidature on Jun 21 before the same could be finalized. It further states that it received and acknowledged the complaint within 24 hours and further disposed of the same within 15 days as required by the Rules.

The tweets in question were as follows:

Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra): Welcome to our Susu Potty Republic! Drink Gaumutra, smear cowdung & flush the rule of law down the toilet @DelhiPolice issue notice to Twitter & land up in their offices for rightly calling out @BJP's fake document as manipulated media. Go figure.

Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal): If Bobde had been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Modi would have been able to appoint his favourite Gujarat IPS, official Rakesh Asthana. What a huge difference a CJI who follows the law makes.

On May 31, the Delhi High Court had issued notice in the plea.

Sr. Adv. Sajan Poovayya appearing for Twitter had told the court that they have already appointed a Resident Grievance Officer in terms of the Rules on May 28.

[Amit Acharya v. Union of India]

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