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Twitter’s India grievance officer quits amid rising tensions with the government

Twitter

Twitter’s India grievance officer, Dharmendra Chatur, has quit from his position amid rising tensions between the microblogging platform and the Indian government, a source directly aware of the situation told Entrackr.

Twitter had appointed Chatur as its interim grievance officer for India after the new social media rules mandated large social media companies to appoint an India-based grievance officer along with other key officials. 

On Sunday, Twitter removed Chatur’s name from its India grievance redressal page along with his correspondence address. It is worth noting that the microblogging platform had drawn the ire of the Indian government since Chatur was not a Twitter employee but a lawyer working for the law firm Poovayya & Co. News agency PTI first reported this.

Chatur also temporarily deactivated his Twitter account after the news of his resignation broke on Sunday night.

The social media rules require that the grievance officer be a company employee based in India, for redressing user complaints. This development means that at the time of publishing, Twitter was without an India-based grievance officer.

For now, Twitter shows the name of Jeremy Kessel—who is the company’s global legal policy director—as its India grievance officer along with a San Francisco correspondence address. 

Earlier, Twitter’s India correspondence address was also that of Poovayya & Co.’s Bengaluru office. This has been removed from Twitter’s website. 

Twitter declined to comment and queries sent to Chatur did not elicit an immediate response. We will update the story when we hear from him. 

Earlier this month, the company had posted job openings for India-based grievance, nodal and compliance officers, Entrackr had first reported.

Tensions have only escalated between Twitter and the Indian government since the social media rules came into effect on May 26, with the most recent episode being Twitter locking IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad out of his account for an hour on Friday following a violation of US copyright laws. 

In a “last notice” sent to Twitter earlier this month, the government had rapped the company for not complying fully with the new social media rules as its interim grievance officer, Dharmendra Chatur, wasn’t an employee of the company, but a lawyer with an external law firm.

Prasad has taken multiple jabs at the company for allegedly “failing” to comply with the social media rules. However, in response, the company had said that it will abide by the rules.

However, Twitter was not the only large social media company whose India grievance officer was not a company employee. Entrackr had exclusively reported that WhatsApp’s India grievance officer, Paresh B. Lal, too, was not an employee of the company but a lawyer working for the law firm AZB & Partners.

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Twitter’s India grievance officer quits amid rising tensions with the government

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