WhatsApp tweets incorrect map of India, excludes PoK from country; IT Minister issues tough warning

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Social networking platform WhatsApp landed into hot water with the Indian government after a recent tweet that showed an incorrect map of India. In the map of the globe, WhatsApp showed the map of India which had several significant parts cut out from it.

In a New Year 2023 tweet posted by WhatsApp, it presented a highlighted map of India which omitted the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) area from the country’s map, as well as several territories of the country which have been claimed by neighbouring country China.

Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, on Saturday told Meta-owned WhatsApp to immediately fix an incorrect map of India in its New Year celebration live-streaming link. The minister reiterated that all social media platforms that do business in India must use correct maps.

“Dear @WhatsApp Rqst that u pls fix the India map error asap. All platforms that do business in India and/or want to continue to do business in India, must use correct maps,” said Chandrasekhar.

Earlier this week, he cautioned video calling platform Zoom`s founder and CEO Eric Yuan to “make sure” that he used the correct map of the countries the company does business in or wants to do business in.

 

 

“You may want to make sure u use correct maps of the countries u do/want to do business in,” he told Yuan. Zoom CEO later deleted the tweet showing an incorrect map of the country.

Chandrasekhar recently spoke about the compliance with law, rules and guardrails for all social media platforms in the country.

“I think who is the head of Twitter is not the most important discussion to have. It`s about the compliance with law, rules and guardrails for all social media platforms that need to be designed and put into place – transparent and true and institutional,” said the Minister on Twitter.

The Minister was reacting to a tweet by Twitter CEO Elon Musk as he started a poll on the microblogging website asking millions of users “should I step down as head of Twitter?” “Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll,” Musk asked in one of the tweets.

In October this year, the government had notified rules under which it will set up appellate panels to redress grievances that users may have against the decisions of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook on hosting contentious content.

The obligations of intermediaries earlier were limited to notifying users of rules but now with the new rules there will be much more definite obligations on platforms.

(With IANS inputs)

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