Microblogging site Twitter came under sharp criticism by many Indian users for showing Jammu & Kashmir in China and Pakistan when users used the website’s location services while composing their messages.
— Lalit (@lalpra) February 12, 2016
— Sadaf Sayeed (@Sadafsayeed) February 12, 2016
Twitter allows users to tag a place in tweets and users can either select their current location automatically selected by GPS services or manually select a location by typing the name of the city or region they want to tag, after which Twitter gives the users options from their database.
On Friday, when users typed “Jammu” or “Kashmir” in the Twitter’s location field, they were shocked to realize that the website didn’t give any option of India at all. Users were asked to either select China or Pakistan.
It should be noted that the option of India was not available even though users were searching for cities that are in the Indian territory, unlike PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) or Aksai Chin, which have been illegally occupied by Pakistan and China respectively.
Earlier in 2013, Google Maps had come under criticism for showing PoK and Aksai Chin (and parts of Arunachal Pradesh) outside the Indian map, and the then government had asked it to correct it. Thereafter Google has been using maps that are acceptable to all the parties (by showing dotted lines on disputed or unclear boundaries).
However, what Twitter has done can’t be acceptable to India at all as India is not being shown as an option at all. This is for the first time, even Jammu is being virtually shown as a “disputed” territory.
Although many users had been complaining and tagging Twitter India’s chief Rishi Jaitley and news head Raheel Khursheed, neither of them had issued any clarification or apology when this report was published.