The popular search engine, Google maps have redrawn Kashmir’s borders which appears different when searched from outside India. It shows Kashmir’s outlines as a dotted line acknowledging “dispute” when it is viewed from outside India.
According to a report by the Washington Post, the borders on Google’s online maps display Kashmir as an integral part of India when viewed from India, contrary to what it appears when seen from elsewhere. For example, when viewed from Pakistan, the Kashmir region would appear disputed marked with dotted lines.
“From Pakistan, Kashmir appears disputed while from India, it appears as a part of India”, the Washington Post report said, adding that “Google Maps changes disputed borders based on what country you search from”.
Reacting to the report, a company spokesperson said, “Google has a consistent and global policy to depict disputed regions and features fairly, showing claims made by the disputed or claiming nations on its global domain.
“This does not endorse or affirm the position taken by any side. Products that have been localised to the local domain, such as maps.google.co.in, depicts that country’s position as per the mandate of the local laws”.
“We’re committed to providing our users with the richest, most up-to-date and accurate maps possible. We do border updates based on data from our providers as new or more accurate data becomes available from authoritative sources or geopolitical conditions change. As we did for the state of Telangana in 2014,” the Google official told PTI.
In 2016, the 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.
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.