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Facebook, WhatsApp list law firm's address for grievance redressal

The microblogging platform Twitter has come under fire for listing a partner at a law firm, Dharmendra Chatur, as the interim government officer.

June 19, 2021 / 09:42 PM IST
The new rules were introduced to make social media platforms, which have seen a phenomenal surge in usage over the past few years in India, more accountable and responsible for the content hosted on their platform.

The new rules were introduced to make social media platforms, which have seen a phenomenal surge in usage over the past few years in India, more accountable and responsible for the content hosted on their platform.

US tech majors Facebook and WhatsApp have listed the address of law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co for grievance redressal rather than their registered office address.

Facebook and WhatsApp, owned by the former, have in their page listed the address: 216, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, New Delhi – 110020. This is also the address the law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, has listed on its website for the New Delhi region.

It is unclear if Spoorthi Priya, appointed as the grievance officer for Facebook and Instagram, and Paresh B Lal, WhatsApp grievance officer, are employees of the firm. An email seeking clarification from Facebook and WhatsApp did not elicit any response. The story will be updated whenever we get the response. The development was first reported by the media platform Entrackr.

As per the new IT rules, large social media firms are mandated to appoint employees on the payroll of the headquarters as the key officers namely - grievance, chief compliance, and nodal officers.

This puts Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in the same league as Twitter.

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The microblogging platform Twitter has come under fire for listing a partner at the law firm, Dharmendra Chatur, as the interim government officer. On June 16, Ravi Shankar Prasad on Twitter said that the company failed to comply with the new IT rules and is not following the law of the land.

Twitter was also named as a party to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Uttar Pradesh Police on a tweet that had misinformation about an assault and was flagged by users for giving a communal colour to a petty dispute.

These companies are also yet to name chief compliance and nodal officers. Facebook has advertised for a chief compliance officer. A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement that, "We are keeping the MeitY apprised of the progress at every step of the process. An interim Chief Compliance Officer has been retained and details will be shared with the Ministry directly soon. Twitter continues to make every effort to comply with the new Guidelines."
Swathi Moorthy
first published: Jun 18, 2021 06:38 pm

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