On Monday, social media platform Twitter showed a distorted map of India which showed J&K, Ladakh as not part of the nation. After receiving backlash, Twitter removed the incorrect map. Meanwhile, the MD of Twitter India was booked by the Uttar Pradesh police in the case. The incident has emerged as a new flashpoint in the Centre’s row with Twitter.
With each passing week, Twitter’s credibility and its legal immunity, both seems to be diminishing. The feud between the two sides started with Twitter labeling a BJP spokesperson’s tweet as manipulated media. The situation escalated when Twitter lost its legal immunity as it failed to comply with the new IT Rules 2021. Since then, minor incidents like MeitY Minister being unable to access his account, Indian Vice President’s verified status being removed, have been the fuel in the Centre VS Twitter row.
Twitter on Monday was receiving end of another backlash after it was observed that on its website, the UT Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were not part of the nation. The map in question appeared on the website’s career page under the ‘Tweep Life’ header.
On the same day, BJP leader P. Puralidhar Rao took to Twitter and condemned the company’s misrepresentation of the country. The Bharatiya Janta Party leader wrote, “Twitter is confirming by its actions and apprehensions expressed widely last few months about its bias towards Indian interests and sensitivities”.
Twitter is confirming by its actions the apprehensions expressed widely in last few months about its bias towards Indian interests & sensitivities.
Twitter's mischeavious representation of Indian Map is strongly condemned. @Twitter has to follow law of land..!
— P Muralidhar Rao (@PMuralidharRao) June 28, 2021
After the issue received widespread condemnation, Twitter dropped the incorrect map. On the ‘tweep life’ page, the map is no more visible.
Bajrang Dal Leader Files Complaint Against Twitter MD
Meanwhile, after the incident, the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh police filed multiple cases against the Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari for the incorrect map. The UP FIR against Maheshwari was filed based on a complaint received by the police from a Praveen Bhati. Bhati serves as a leader of the Bajrang Dal. Bhati in his complaint said that Indians were hurt by the misrepresentation of India’s map. NDTV quoted Bhati saying, “This act of treason has been committed intentionally and action should be taken.”
It also featured another name of Amrita Tripathi, who is a journalist and novelist.
The FIR against the Twitter chief was filed under Section 505 (2) of the IPC (Creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and the Section 74 of the IT Act 2008. It should be noted that Twitter lost its legal immunity from being booked under the sections of IT Act 2008 after failing to comply to the much-debated IT Rules 2021.
Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari and India head Amrita Tripathi booked for allegedly showing wrong map of India on its website. FIR was lodged on the complaint of Bajrang Dal leader Praveen Bhati at Khurja PS in Bulandshahar. pic.twitter.com/QUz4svRReC
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) June 29, 2021
FIR Filed in Madhya Pradesh on BJP Spokesperson’s Complaint
The FIR from Madhya Pradesh was filed on the basis of a complaint raised by the BJP spokesperson Durkesh Keswani. Gurkaran SIngh, Superintendent of Police, Madhya Pradesh’s Cyber Crime, was quoted by news agencies saying-
“A First Information Report was registered against Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari under Section 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code over displaying a distorted map of India.”
Delhi Police Files FIR over Child Pornography on Twitter
The failure to comply to the IT Rules 2021 has left Twitter extremely vulnerable to an avalanche of FIRs from multiple states on multiple issues. The Delhi Police reportedly received the complaint from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights last month.
Meanwhile, Twitter spokesperson after the case said-
“Twitter has a zero-tolerance policy for child sexual exploitation (CSE) and we have a proactive approach to combating sexual exploitation of minors on our service. We will continue to invest in proactive detection and removal of content that violates Twitter rules and work with law enforcement and NGO partners in India to tackle the issue.”