IT Minister pulls up WhatsApp over incorrect map of India shown in tweeted video; platform deletes post, apologises

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IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Saturday pulled up WhatsApp for tweeting a video showing an incorrect map of India and asked it to immediately correct the error, following which the messaging platform deleted the tweet and apologised. As the minister called out WhatsApp for distortions in the country’s map, he also warned that “all platforms that do business in India and/or want to continue doing business in India must use correct maps”. “.

“Dear @WhatsApp – Request you to fix the India map error at the earliest,” Chandrasekhar tweeted after the Meta-owned messaging platform posted a New Year related tweet showing an incorrect map of India.

Video post by WhatsApp about New Year’s Eve livestream depicts globe showing wrong map of India with respect to Jammu and Kashmir.
WhatsApp deleted the tweet after it was flagged by the minister.

WhatsApp tweeted, “Thank you Minister for pointing out the unexpected error. We have removed the stream immediately, apologise. We will take care in future.”

Earlier this week, Chandrasekhar also warned Eric Yuan, founder and CEO of video calling company Zoom, about the wrong map of India.

“Want to make sure you use the correct maps of the countries you want to do business with,” the minister had tweeted on December 28. Yuan later deleted the tweet.

In June 2021, the micro-blogging platform Twitter itself came under heavy criticism for displaying a distorted map of India. Twitter removed the incorrect map after facing backlash online.

Major social media platforms have drawn criticism in the past for hate speech, misinformation and fake news circulating on their platforms.

Last year, the government introduced tougher rules for social media platforms in one of the world’s largest internet markets to make them more accountable to end users. The 2021 rules require social media companies to swiftly remove controversial content, appoint grievance redressal officers and assist in investigations.

IT regulations were further tightened in October 2022 paving the way for the formation of a centrally appointed panel to deal with the often ignored user complaints against the way social media platforms addressed their grievances with regard to content and other matters Can go

Simply put, these appellate panels will be able to review content moderation decisions by social media companies like Meta and Twitter, and overturn decisions from Big Tech firms on takedown or blocking requests. The government had said the move was necessary due to the “casual” and “symbolism” approach of digital platforms towards user complaints.

Notably, the newly-amended IT rules also impose a legal obligation on social media companies to make all efforts to prevent prohibited content and misinformation, and the government has made it clear that platforms such as Twitter and Facebook operating in India Platforms have to comply. Local laws and constitutional rights of Indian users.

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