Twitter's India head booked as website takes J&K, Ladakh out of India
30 June 2021
The police in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district have filed an FIR against Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari and News Partnerships Head Amrita Tripathi, for showing the union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir outside the map of India.
The FIR has named both Maheshwari and Tripathi as accused under section 505 (2) (public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
The map, which appeared on the career section of Twitter website under the header 'Tweep Life', had triggered outrage on social media, which forced Twitter to remove the map.
"Twitter is confirming by its actions the apprehensions expressed widely in the last few months about its bias towards Indian interests and sensitivities. Twitter's mischievous representation of Indian Map is strongly condemned. Twitter has to follow law of land..!" - tweeted BJP leader P Muralidhar Rao.
Micro-blogging app Twitter published the distorted map of India showing Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as separate from India amid ongoing tension with the government over new rules for social media platforms.
The glaring distortion, which appeared on the career section of the Twitter website, drew sharp criticism from various quarters. Twitter had, last year, shown Leh as part of China when it had legal protection as an intermediary.
Twitter has now lost its legal shield as an intermediary in India as it refused to abide by new social media rules.
In a statement, the ministry of electronics and information technology had said that through its actions and deliberate defiance, Twitter is seeking to undermine the country’s legal system.
The new IT rules, which came into effect on 25 May, stipulate that social media companies appoint a grievance redressal mechanism to address complaints about objectionable material.
All social media companies with a user base of 5 million and above are required to appoint such a grievance officer and share details such as the name and number of these officers with the authorities. Social media companies are also required to appoint a chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person and a resident grievance officer.
Twitter in its response to the final notice by the government on 5 June said it intended to comply with new IT rules and will share the details of the chief compliance officer. It later announced the appointment of an interim resident grievance officer, who later quit the job.