The government on Thursday warned Twitter over its location settings that showed Leh in China. The Centre asked founder, CEO Jack Dorsey to "respect sensitivities". The Ministry of Electronics and IT Secretary wrote to Dorsey and expressed disapproval at the "misrepresentation of the map of India".
IT Secretary Ajay Sawhney reportedly said in the letter that any attempt by the social media platform to disrespect the sovereignty and integrity of the country is not only unacceptable but also unlawful. "Such attempts not only bring disrepute to Twitter but also raises questions about its neutrality and fairness as an intermediary," stated the letter.
Centre's rap comes after a furore over Leh's geo-tagging following senior broadcast journalist Nitin Gokhale's tweet. During his live broadcast from Leh's Hall of Fame, Twitter's geotagging showed Jammu and Kashmir as part of China.
"Twitter folks, I just did a live from the Hall of Fame. Giving Hall of Fame as the location and guess what it is saying Jammu & Kashmir, People's Republic of China! Are you guys nuts?" Gokhale tweeted. Hall of Fame in Leh is a war memorial for the fallen soldiers.
Gokhale urged fellow Twitter users to try the same. "Tweeple pl put Hall of Fame Leh as your location for live broadcast and see what's happening. It shows location as Jammu and Kashmir, People's Republic of China. I tested it again. Outrageous. Pl flood Twitter with complaints. GoI should take immediate action," he said.
Following Gokhale's tweet, several users tweeted with the location set up as Hall of Fame, Leh but the situation was the same for everyone. A host of Twitter users tagged to government to look into the matter.
Twitter had responded to the controversy and said it was an error in geo-tagging. A spokesperson said that issue has been addressed and was swiftly resolved.
This incident comes amid ongoing border tensions between India and China.