Crime & Justice

India, Twitter clash again over country’s map

New Delhi, Jun 29 (EFE).- Twitter got embroiled into another dispute Tuesday with the Indian government, which filed a complaint against the social media platform for publishing a map of the nation that excluded certain disputed regions of Kashmir and Ladakh.

The map in concern excludes the disputed territories controlled by Pakistan and China but claimed by India.

Praveen Bhati, a leader of the nationalist group Bajrang Dal, filed a police complaint in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, describing Twitter’s move as an “intentional” act of “treason.”

Police officer Suresh S. Kumar, addressing the media, said that the map offended the feelings of the Indian people and was not a “mere coincidence.”

He added that two employees of the company had been named in the complaint.

The case comes amid tensions between the Asian country and the micro-blogging platform over the latter’s alleged failure to comply with a series of new Indian regulations, considered a threat to freedom of expression.

Failure to comply with these rules puts Twitter at risk of losing legal intermediary protection, and being held responsible for the content that users post on its platform.

The map was published on Monday in “Tweep Life” section of the Twitter website, and marked these regions as a separate country. However, it was removed following complaints from users who found the action as provocative.

A week ago, Twitter and the Indian government had locked horns after the company temporarily suspended the account of the Minister of Communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad, for an alleged violation of US copyright law.

Prasad had then claimed that the social media site was not the flagbearer of freedom of expression as it claimed but was interested in carrying out its own agenda.

The minister also reiterated the need for the multinational firm to comply with Indian laws.

The new rules require social media platforms to swiftly take down any content deemed illegal and help investigate its origin, and help identify the user from whom the content originated.

The legislation, known as the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, was announced in February and came into effect on May 26.

Online messaging platform Whatsapp too has expressed reservations over the new law, stressing that it would signify an end to end-to-end encryption offered by the company.

This law has been widely criticized as an attempt to stifle freedom of speech and expression in the country by the Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. EFE


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