India restated its expectation for Twitter [TWTR:US] to comply with the country’s existing and upcoming information technology (IT) rules after US billionaire and Tesla [TSLA:US] CEO Elon Musk takes over the ownership of the social media platform, as reported by Reuters on October 29. India has announced the formation of a government panel to redress user reports against social media companies’ content moderation decisions. Under the amended IT rules, which will be published in the coming days, social media companies operating in India may face more obligations to ensure content’s compliance with local laws and curb misinformation.
Elon Musk completed his record USD44bn acquisition of Twitter on October 28. Musk, a self-assigned “free speech absolutist,” has previously stated that he wants to see fewer limits on content on Twitter. Therefore, Musk’s ownership of Twitter will likely lead to looser content moderation standards on the platform, causing friction between the company and regulators in India. Over the past two years, the Indian government has asked Twitter to act on accounts supportive of the Khalistan movement and to suppress misinformation about the Indian farmers’ protests and criticisms of the local government. How Twitter will balance its new CEO’s content management philosophy and India’s tightened social media restrictions remains a question.