The Indian government has issued a warning to micro-blogging website Twitter over misrepresentation of the country’s map. In a strong-worded letter written to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Electronics and IT Ministry Secretary, Ajay Sawhney, stated that the government strongly disapproved such misrepresentation of the country’s map.
Sawhney stated in the letter that such attempts, while bringing disrepute to Twitter, also raise questions on the social media platform’s neutrality and fairness as an intermediary.
Asking Twitter to respect the sensitivities of Indian citizens, the Electronics and IT Ministry Secretary wrote in the communication that any attempt by Twitter to disrespect the sovereignty and integrity of India, which is also reflected by the maps, is totally unacceptable and also unlawful.
Earlier, Twitter had displayed the geo-location of Leh (headquarter of union territory of Ladakh) and Jammu and Kashmir in People’s Republic of China.
Twitter had later resolved the ‘technical issue’ and issued a statement. “We became aware of this technical issue on 18 October, and understand and respect the sensitivities around it. Teams have worked swiftly to investigate and resolve the concerned geotag issue,” a company spokesperson said on the controversy over location tag in a live broadcast showing Jammu and Kashmir as part of China.
Reacting to the fresh communication from the Indian ministry, a Twitter spokesperson said today: “Twitter remains committed to working with the Government of India. We respect the sensitivities involved and have duly acknowledged the letter.”
The Indian official, in the letter, reminded Twitter that Leh is the headquarter of the union territory of Ladakh and both Ladakh as well as Jammu and Kashmir are integral and inalienable parts of India, with both governed by the Constitution of India.
The misrepresentation by Twitter came amidst the ongoing border dispute between India and China. The development came just weeks after China refused to recognise the “illegally set up union territory of Ladakh”, while opposing infrastructure development by India there.