Twitter removes incorrect India map from website after outrage

Twitter on Monday removed a controversial map, which showed Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh as a separate country, from its website after it sparked off an outrage on social media. The map appeared in the career section of the Twitter website.

The distorted map has triggered a heavy backlash from netizens who are demanding strict action against the microblogging platform. This is not the first time Twitter has misrepresented India’s map. 

In October last year, Twitter came under heavy criticism and faced backlash after its geotagging feature displayed “Jammu and Kashmir, People’s Republic of China” in a live broadcast from Leh’s Hall of Fame, a war memorial for fallen soldiers in the Union Territory of Ladakh. In the following month, the digital giant, Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir instead of the Union Territory of Ladakh.

On both the occasions, the Centre had issued stern warning to the micro-blogging site. Now, with the new IT rules in place, reports suggest that the government may take tough action against it. Twitter could face financial penalties, seven years in jail for its officials and could even be blocked under Section 69A of IT rules, reported NDTV.

The microblogging platform has lost its legal shield as an intermediary in India, becoming liable for users posting any unlawful content. 

The government has confronted Twitter for deliberate defiance and failure to comply with the country’s new IT rules, despite repeated reminders. The rules became effective from May 26; and Twitter, even after the expiry of the additional time, had not appointed the requisite officers, leading to it losing the ‘safe harbour’ immunity.

Twitter’s interim grievance officer for India, Dharmendra Chatur, has quit within weeks of taking over the key role and California-based Jeremy Kessel has now been named as India’s grievance redressal officer. The appointment, however, does not meet the requirements of new IT rules, which clearly mandate key officers including the grievance officer, to be resident in India.

Twitter and the government have been at loggerheads over multiple instances in the past months, including during the farmers’ protest and later when the microblogging platform tagged political posts of several leaders of the ruling party BJP as “manipulated media”, triggering a sharp rebuke from the centre.

With PTI inputs

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