NEW DELHI — U.S. microblogging site Twitter has once again gotten into trouble for displaying a distorted map of India on its platform. The map shows Jammu and Kashmir belonging to a separate country, while union territory Ladakh as a part of China.
The map appears under the Twitter website’s Career section under the ‘Tweep Life’ section. This is the second time Twitter is facing ire for showing the wrong map of India.
In October 2020, Twitter had labeled the Indian territory of Leh in Ladakh as part of the People’s Republic of China. The government had then issued a warning to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey over the misrepresentation of the Indian map.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had issued a notice to Twitter, saying that such attempts bring disrepute to the firm and raise questions about its neutrality and fairness as an intermediary.
Twitter’s perceived lack of neutrality and fairness has been a bugbear for the Narendra Modi-led government. The administration has often asked Twitter to toe the line with its diktats, from blocking thousands of accounts for allegedly spreading misinformation about the protests against the farm laws to removing tweets critical of the government’s handling of the Covid crisis.
In December last year, India asked Wikipedia to remove a page that misrepresented the country’s borders.
For the past several months, Twitter has been involved in a stand-off with the Indian government over the new amendments in the country’s Information Technology laws.
The microblogging platform lost its status as a social media intermediary earlier in June, becoming liable for user-generated content under Indian law.
Some conditions mandated by the government in the new rules for social media websites include the appointment of a nodal officer, a resident grievance officer, and a chief compliance officer. However, Twitter’s interim resident grievance officer Dharmendra Chatur stepped down just days after his appointment to the role.
Twitter’s careers page currently shows California-based Jeremy Kessel as the new grievance officer for India. But the grievance officer is required to be a resident of the country with Indian citizenship.
The distorted map has attracted criticism of the platform, and #TwitterBan and #BanTwitterinIndia began trending. Several users asked the government to ban Twitter in India.
“A western tech giant continuously disrespecting sovereignty of our country and playing with our emotions and what is Modi govt doing? Nothing. Why is not GOI suspending or not taking strict action against @Twitter,” one user tweeted.
“Dear @rsprasad Ji, this is how @twitter is mocking and challenging India’s sovereignty by using the map without Kashmir. My blood boils seeing this. I want to know what is your ministry going to do about it? #EnoughIsEnough,” filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri tweeted. @rsprasad is the official handle of union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
(With inputs from ANI)
(Edited by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and Amrita Das)