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Twitter ropes in Samiran Gupta to lead public policy efforts in India, South Asia

The Indian government has clashed with the social media firm on various issues including content moderation and free speech.

February 24, 2022 / 01:15 PM IST

On February 24, Twitter appointed Samiran Gupta to lead its public policy and philanthropy efforts in India and South Asia.

This appointment comes about a year after the exit of Twitter's former Public Policy Director for India and South Asia Mahima Kaul who left the company after a five year stint in February 2021.

"Pleased to welcome @Samiran01 to @Twitter to lead our public @Policy & philanthropy efforts in India & S Asia. A deeply respected leader in public affairs & tech policy, we’re excited Samiran joins our journey toward an inclusive & open Internet that empowers public conversation" Kathleen Reen, Senior Director Public Policy and Philanthropy, APAC, Twitter said on the social media platform on February 24.

Prior to this appointment, Gupta was leading the India operations of the non-profit firm The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for nearly seven and half years. He was also briefly the firm's head of stakeholder engagement for the South Asia market. Gupta has a total of over 30 years of experience across multiple companies.

"Thrilled to join @Twitter to lead the Public @Policy team’s work to engage with govts, NGOs, and partners in India & SouthAsia. Can’t wait to get started with the incredible @Policy team and contribute towards an Internet that is a global force for good" Gupta said in a tweet.

This development comes at a critical time when the Indian government has clashed with the social media firm on various issues including content moderation and free speech.

Last year, Twitter was involved in a prolonged tussle with the Indian government over its alleged non-compliance with the new IT rules passed in May last year. One of the key triggers for this tussle was the ‘manipulated media’ label Twitter placed on tweets by senior BJP leaders.

Following this, the Twitter India office in New Delhi was raided by the police. Two FIRs were filed against then India head Manish Maheshwari in June, even as the company failed to comply with the new IT rules.

Maheshwari had filed an appeal in the Karnataka High Court, which ruled in favour of Maheshwari. In August, the government said that the company has complied with the rules.

Maheshwari quit Twitter in December last year to start a virtual education firm called Invact Metaversity. In the same month, the company also saw a management change at the top, with Parag Agrawal taking over as Twitter CEO from cofounder Jack Dorsey.

Vikas SN
Vikas SN
first published: Feb 24, 2022 01:14 pm