Twitter CEO is facing fire from India after a map showed Jammu and Kashmir as part of China
- The Indian government has issued a sternly worded warning to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over the misrepresentation of Jammu and Kashmir as a part of China.
- Even though Twitter does not have its own map service, it was geo-tagging the location of Jammu and Kashmir as a part of the People’s Republic of China for Indian users.
- India’s IT secretary, Ajay Sawhney, conveyed that any attempt by Twitter to disrespect India’s sovereignty and integrity is unacceptable and unlawful.
The Indian government has often been at odds with social networking giants, and the newest irritant between the two parties is India’s map. India’s IT secretary, Ajay Sawhney, has written a harshly worded letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over the misrepresentation of Jammu and Kashmir as a part of China.
A serious anamoly of misrepresentation of Geo- location in Leh/Ladakh on Twitter was brought out to the notice of p… https://t.co/S6AaXdWFhw
— BharatShakti.in (@BharatShaktiBSI) 1603351160000
According to Sawhney, any attempt by Twitter to disrespect India’s sovereignty and integrity — which includes how its territory is shown on maps — is totally unacceptable. More worryingly, it’s unlawful.
Tweeple pl put Hall of Fame Leh as your location for live broadcast and see what’s happening. It shows location as… https://t.co/7Q0nnmdmbs
— Nitin A. Gokhale (@nitingokhale) 1603003998000
Even though Twitter does not have its own map service, it does geo-tag Jammu and Kashmir as a part of the People’s Republic of China. Earlier this week, when security analyst Nitin A Gokhale went live on the platform, it showed that he was broadcasting from China rather than from India while he was in Leh.
There you are. Someone else also tried it. Same result https://t.co/VfRzV3PMvu
— Nitin A. Gokhale (@nitingokhale) 1603004122000
Twitter is not alone
Twitter is not alone in its struggle to balance local laws against global guidelines. Google, Apple and other services have had to address similar issues in the past.
For example, if an IP address from India accesses Google Maps, it shows Jammu and Kashmir as a part of the country. But when Google Maps is accessed from other parts of the world, the borders are shown as a dotted line indicating that the area is disputed territory.
The decision to do so was taken back in 2009 following outrage over the disputed map when former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Arunachal Pradesh during the state election.
Even Ukraine got upset with Apple over annexing Crimea as Russian territory on Google Maps and Weather.