Twitter removed a distorted map of India from its website, that showed the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as outside India, late on Monday evening.
The incorrect map had shown the two UTs as a separate country. It was visible on the career section of the Twitter website under the header ‘Tweep Life’ during the day, and was widely reported.
The incorrect depiction of India’s territory had triggered a heavy backlash from netizens on Monday as they demanded strict action against the microblogging platform that has flouted various rules on multiple occasions in the past. #TwitterBan was trending on Twitter with almost 17,000 tweets.
Sources said the government is seriously looking into the matter. In this case, since the wrong depiction is on Twitter’s website, the case is not that of an ‘intermediary’ but of a publisher which is responsible for content.
When something is clearly wrong it has to be tackled, or consequential action will follow, they said. Twitter- which has an estimated 1.75 crore users in India- has remained mum on the entire episode.
This is not the first time Twitter had misrepresented India’s map.
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 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.
The US digital giant has been engaged in a tussle with the Indian government over the new social media rules.
The government has slammed Twitter for deliberate defiance and failure to comply with the country’s new IT rules, which has led to the microblogging platform losing its legal shield as an intermediary in India, and becoming liable for users posting any unlawful content.