INDIA. Mumbai: Twitter on Monday removed the incorrect map which appeared on its website, under the header “Tweep Life”, showing the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as separate from India.
While Ladakh was shown as a part of China, Jammu and Kashmir were depicted as independent country. The social media site once again put up a map of this sort despite the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology previously writing to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reminding him that both Ladakh and J&K are ‘integral and inalienable parts of India, governed by the Constitution of India’.
In May, the government had criticized Twitter’s decision to label a tweet by Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra as “Manipulated media”. Then, On June 5, Twitter had briefly removed the blue checkmark from the personal handle of India’s Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. This blue tick, displayed on a user’s profile, is viewed as an indicator of legitimacy.
In November last, Twitter had apologized for the ‘Ladakh in China’ map error and had promised to correct it. The Joint Committee of Parliament on Data Protection Bill 2019 had come down heavily on Twitter for showing Ladakh as part of China, saying it amounted to treason. The Committee had expressed strong displeasure over the geotagging issue and asked Twitter to submit a written apology and an affidavit.
The Twitter has already been sued in the Delhi High Court over purported non-compliance with the Centre’s new IT rules. The new information technology rules – which were announced in February and became effective in May – are framed to regulate social media companies, streaming, and digital news content, virtually bringing them, for the first time, under the ambit of government supervision.
Twitter lost legal protection in India when the government stripped it of its intermediary status. This means that Twitter will not be considered as a platform hosting people’s tweets but it will be editorially responsible for the content – which makes it liable to face action in case of objectionable content posted on its platform. Last week, Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the social media platform had denied him access to his account for almost an hour, citing a copyright complaint.
In another development, the Loni Border Police in Uttar Pradesh have registered an FIR against Twitter Inc and Teleios Cnc India Private Limited(TCIPL), on June 15 under Sections 153, 153-A, 295-A, 505, read with 120-B and 34, of the Indian Penal Code, on the charge of posting a video, on Twitter, showing an elderly man belonging to a minority community being assaulted in Ghaziabad, allegedly to incite communal tensions.
Besides, the Ghaziabad Police have sent a legal notice to Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari in the case. However, in response to the petition filed by Maheshwari, seeking relief, the Karnataka High Court has barred Uttar Pradesh Police from taking any coercive action against him. The petition is to come up for hearing on Tuesday. Maheshwari has claimed that he is merely the revenue head, in charge of advertising and sales, but the designation of Managing Director has been given him since he is the senior employee of the company.
In the meanwhile the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has summoned DCP of Delhi Police Cyber Cell asking him to appear before it via video conferencing on Tuesday, with action taken report in connection with availability of pornographic material to children on Twitter, with a request to register an FIR against Twitter & TCIPL.