Twitter has expressed serious concerns over the possibility of India imposing a fine on the company for failing to remove certain content from its platform in accordance with the country’s new IT guidelines. Also Read - Twitter given last chance to comply with IT rules in India: Here’s what’s happening
According to Twitter’s 10-K filing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) first reported by The Economic Times, the company said that internet connectivity and use of feature phones is also making it difficult to monetise its platform. “We are subject to legislation in Germany that may impose significant fines for failure to comply with certain content removal and disclosure obligations. Other countries, including Brazil, Turkey, Singapore, India, Australia, and the United Kingdom, have implemented or are considering similar legislation imposing penalties for failure to remove certain types of content,” Twitter wrote in its SEC filing on February 16. Also Read - Facebook revamps groups, introduces chat channels, audio channels and more
It also said that costs to adapt its products and services in light of the manner in which people access Twitter in some regions coupled with other factors such as the “use of feature phones in certain emerging markets such as India and Pakistan”, and “challenges related to different levels of Internet access or mobile device adoption in different jurisdictions” were making it difficult to monetise its platform. Also Read - Twitter’s closed captions feature arrives on Android, iOS: How to use it
Notably, Twitter is not the first tech company to raise concerns over India’s new IT rules. Facebook’s parent Meta in its 10-K filings with the SEC raised similar concerns. “Some countries, such as India, are considering or have passed legislation implementing data protection requirements or requiring local storage and processing of data or similar requirements that could increase the cost and complexity of delivering our services,” Meta had said in its annual filings earlier this year.
Apart from the new IT rules, Twitter also cited competition from ‘regional websites’ as a cause of concern from the platform. “Increased competition from largely regional websites, mobile applications and services that provide real-time communications and have strong positions in particular countries, which have expanded and may continue to expand their geographic footprint,” the micro-blogging platform wrote. In India Twitter faces competition from Koo that has been downloaded 20 million times so far.