Twitter shows Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh outside India map on its site, amid tension with Centre

Twitter could face government action for misrepresenting map of India, showing Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as separate countries.

The map that appears on the “Tweep Life” section of Twitter’s website shows Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh outside India.The distorted map was flagged by a Twitter user and has since provoked angry reactions and calls for punishment.

Sources said that the government could take stern action as it does not take the distortion of the country’s map lightly and considers it a serious crime. Twitter could face fines for its executives, up to seven years in prison for its officials, and could be blocked under Section 69A of the IT Act.

Sources say Twitter is the culprit again and again. In the past, it portrayed Leh as Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of China.

BJP leader P Muralidhar Rao tweeted: “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!”

This is the latest in a series of disputes between the government and Twitter over issues ranging from tagging BJP leaders’ posts as “manipulative media” to new rules on social media sites.

Responding to the new rules, Twitter flagged “freedom of expression” concerns, including the appointment of competing enforcement officers in India.

Because of the government’s slow response to law enforcement warnings, there were questions about Twitter losing legal protection against user-generated content.

On May 31, Twitter told the Delhi High Court that it was appointing Dharmendra Chatur, a partner in a law firm, who introduced Twitter as its interim grievance redressal officer. However, the government said it could not accept the appointment of outsiders to legal positions.

Yesterday, Dharmendra Chatur resigned, weeks after his appointment. Twitter has now appointed Jeremy Kessel, the US-led Director of Global Legal Policy, as its complaints officer for India. However, the new rules require an Indian resident for the role.

In a series of run-ins with Twitter, the government also asked the site to remove the “manipulative media” tag from tweets posted by several BJP leaders on the alleged Congress “toolkit”.

Since Twitter refused to do so, Delhi Police also issued notices, visited its offices in Delhi and Gurgaon, and questioned Manish Maheshwari, chief of Twitter India in Bengaluru.

Recently, police in the BJP-ruled state of Uttar Pradesh summoned Mr Maheshwari for failing to stop the spread of a video allegedly aimed at inciting religious strife.

On Friday, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Twitter account was briefly locked for alleged copyright infringement.

The minister said that by publishing his clips from the televised debates, he denied access to his account for an hour on complaints of copyright infringement.

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