A day after Twitter India got embroiled in a fresh controversy over carrying a distorted map of India on its careers page, the police in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district lodged an FIR against Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari and another company official on Tuesday. The case was registered at the Khurja Nagar police station based on a complaint by a Bajrang Dal office-bearer on Monday evening.
The controversy erupted after it was discovered that a map of the world in the ‘Tweep Life’ section under ‘Careers’ on the platform’s website showed the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as lying outside the borders of India. The distorted map had pins for three offices of Twitter in India, in Bengaluru, Mumbai, and New Delhi.
Twitter later removed the map after backlash from netizens.
“The world map does not show Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir as parts of India. This is not a coincidence. This act has hurt the sentiments of Indians, including me,” Bajrang Dal’s western UP convenor Praveen Bhati said in the complaint, according to news agency PTI.
The FIR also named News Partnerships Head Amrita Tripathi as accused. Maheshwari and Tripathi have been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 505 (2) (public mischief). Charges under Information Technology Act section 74 (publication for fraudulent purpose) have also been invoked in the case, PTI reported.
Sources in the IT Ministry said the government was looking into the “distorted map” issue at the highest levels, and would soon issue a notice seeking explanation from Twitter.
An email sent to Twitter seeking its comment on the map did not elicit any response by press time.
This is the third time that Twitter has published a map that is different from the Government of India’s official map. In October-November last year, Twitter’s automatic geo-tagging feature had displayed, during a live broadcast from the Hall of Fame war memorial in Leh, the location “Jammu & Kashmir, People’s Republic of China”.
Twitter had apologised at the time. However, a month later, it showed Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir instead of the Union Territory of Ladakh.
Meanwhile, the government has concluded that Twitter in India is no longer an “intermediary” and, therefore, cannot be provided the legal protection that is accorded to Internet intermediaries under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, senior government officials said on Monday.