© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo for social media platform X, following the rebranding of Twitter, is seen covering the old logo in this illustration taken, July 24, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
By Aditya Kalra
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Social media platform X’s head of policy for India and South Asia, Samiran Gupta, has resigned, two sources said, a top departure that comes ahead of India elections and as the company fights a court battle with New Delhi over content removal.
Gupta was the most senior India employee for X, formerly known as Twitter, and responsible for “key content-related policy issues” and “defending Twitter’s position with new policy developments and support in-country sales organization,” according to his LinkedIn profile.
Gupta, who was designated as X’s Head of Global Government Affairs for India and South Asia, declined to comment to Reuters. X did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Gupta’s tenure at X ended in September, according to Gupta’s LinkedIn profile, which said he “enabled transition leadership for Twitter post acquisition by Elon Musk led X-Corp.”
He had joined the company in February, 2022, eight months before Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter Inc (NYSE:).
X counts India as a key market, with around 27 million users. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other government officials are regular users of the platform.
There are roughly 15 X employees in functions like compliance and engineering in India, said one of the sources, but Gupta was the only executive engaging with the government and political parties.
Interaction between X and government and party officials would intensify typically during the run up to polls, and a national election is due to take place in India next year.
X is appealing against an Indian court ruling that it had failed to comply with government orders to remove certain content, arguing it could embolden New Delhi to block more content and broaden the scope for censorship.
India in September told a court X is a “habitual non-compliant platform” and for years has not followed many orders to remove content, undermining the government’s role.