Twitter India’s Public Policy Head Steps Down

Kaul’s resignation comes at a time when the microblogging platform has been at loggerheads with the Indian govt.

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Mahima Kaul’s resignation comes at a time when the microblogging platform has been at loggerheads with the Indian govt. Image used for representation. 
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Twitter’s head of public policy and government partnerships, Mahima Kaul stepped down from her post, the social media platform confirmed on Saturday, 6 February. Kaul said she has stepped down from her role in the firm to take some time off, The Hindustan Times reported.

Kaul’s resignation comes at a time when the microblogging platform has been at loggerheads with the Indian government over the blocking of 257 Twitter handles, over the use of a hashtag during the farmers’ protests.

“At the start of this year, Mahima Kaul decided to step down from her role as Twitter Public Policy Director for India and South Asia to take a well-deserved break. It’s a loss for all of us at Twitter, but after more than five years in the role we respect her desire to focus on the most important people and relationships in her personal life. Mahima will continue in her role till the end of March and will support the transition,” Hindustan Times quoted Twitter global policy head Monique Meche.

On1 February Budget 2021 day, one of the biggest stories of the day was the blocking of over 250 Twitter accounts, which have been covering the farmers’ protests and have been critical of the Centre, including those of The Caravan, and the Kisan Ekta Morcha.

The accounts were ‘withheld because of a legal demand’ from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and remained unavailable in India for most of the day. They were subsequently restored by Twitter, which pushed back against the block in discussions with the government at a meeting on 1 February.

Incensed by the restoration of these accounts, on 3 February, in a sternly-worded letter the Union Electronics and IT Ministry informed Twitter once again, “It may be noted that as per Indian law, with which Twitter is bound to comply, Twitter is an ‘intermediary’ as defined under Section 2[1][w] of the Information Technology Act.”

The government letter also reveals that in a significant pushback, Twitter had asserted in its letter dated 1 February that, ‘stock phrases and exaggerations /crude emotional appeals do not constitute inflammatory speech in light of the judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’.

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