Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari has been booked by the police over the display of an incorrect map of India on the company’s website. He has been booked under Section 505 (2) of IPC and Section 74 of IT (Amendment) Act, 2008, news agency ANI reported.
This is the second FIR against Manish this month. The recent case has been filed on complaint of a Bajrang Dal leader in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, he was booked by the police in connection with Ghaziabad assault case.
Meanwhile, after drawing flak over displaying a distorted map of India that showed Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as separate country, Twitter has now removed the wrong map. The glaring distortion appeared on the career section of Twitter website under the header ‘Tweep Life’.
This is not the first time that Twitter has misrepresented India’s map. Earlier, it had shown Leh as part of China. According to PTI sources, the government is seriously looking into the matter. In this case, since the wrong depiction is on Twitter’s website.
Twitter — which has an estimated 1.75 crore users in India — has remained mum on the entire episode.
The US digital giant has been at loggerheads with the Indian government over the new social media rules. The government has confronted Twitter over deliberate defiance and failure to comply with the country’s new IT rules, despite repeated reminders. Notably, the microblogging platform has lost its legal shield as an intermediary in India, becoming liable for users posting any unlawful content.
In October last year, Twitter came under heavy criticism and faced backlash after its geotagging feature displayed “Jammu & 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. India had issued a stern warning to Twitter that time, making it clear that any disrespect of the country’s sovereignty and integrity is totally unacceptable.
In November, Twitter again showed Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir instead of the Union Territory of Ladakh, following which the Centre issued a notice to the US-based company for disrespecting the territorial integrity of India by showing an incorrect map.
Twitter’s apparent heavyhandedness has come under government scrutiny, given that the platform has not complied with the new IT rules, called intermediary guidelines, that mandate setting up a robust grievance redressal mechanism and appointing officers to coordinate with law enforcement. 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.