Twitter shows Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as separate countries on its platform

New Delhi:Twitter Inc. has on its website shown Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as separate countries and not part of India, a development that could further escalate tensions between the Government of India and the US-based microblogging platform.

“This is the second time Twitter has shown the wrong Map of India. Earlier, Twitter had shown Leh as part of China,” a government official said, adding that action on the issue is being contemplated.

“No notice has been sent so far, but we are contemplating future action,” said the official.

The government had in November last year issued a stern notice to Twitter for showing Leh as part of Jammu & Kashmir, instead of the Union Territory of Ladakh.

According to the notice, which was sent by the Ministry of Electronics and IT on Nov. 9 to the Global Vice President of Twitter, depicting Leh as part of Jammu & Kashmir is a “deliberate attempt by Twitter to undermine the will of the sovereign Parliament of India, which had declared Ladakh as a Union Territory of India with its headquarter in Leh.”

Just last week, Twitter briefly “locked” Indian IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s account citing US copyright infringement laws and warned him of potential suspension from the platform if he posted copyrighted videos on his handle.

On Monday, ET reported that the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the music federation that made the complaint, has said that “unlike other social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube”, Twitter has not taken a “license for music content”. It also said that to avoid such situations in the future, Twitter should take a licence for the content uploaded onto its platform, which will allow users to upload content and make sure that “Indian songwriters, artists and producers are being fairly rewarded.”

Things between Twitter and the government of India have already come to a boil after a series of disagreements between the two sides over the past several weeks.

In what started as a tiff over Twitter tagging tweets by BJP leaders as “manipulated media” grew into a major controversy as the government accused Twitter of being non-compliant with India’s IT rules, and therefore may lose its safe harbour as an intermediary. Since then, the San Francisco-based company has seen first information reports (FIRs) filed against it over content on its platforms and its officers being summoned for investigations.


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