Two days after Twitter labelled the Indian territory of Leh in Ladakh as part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the microblogging website has now embroiled in yet another controversy.
During a live session on Twitter on Sunday, a national security analyst and founder of Strat Times, Nitin A Gokhale, had found that the microblogging platform displayed the ‘Hall of Fame Leh’ area as part of the PRC. The screengrab of the live video read, “Nitin A Gokhale was live. Jammu and Kashmir, People’s Republic of China.”
Twitter issued a clarification, called it a ‘technical glitch’
Following a social media outrage, Twitter issued a statement claiming that the error was the result of a technical glitch. The microblogging platform emphasised, “We became aware of this technical issue on Sunday, and understand and respect the sensitivities around it. The teams have worked swiftly to investigate and resolve the concerned geotag issue.”
Nitin A Gokhale was however not satisfied with the response of the social media giant. He shared Twitter’s statement on the geotagging controversy and emphasised, “Reposting: Meanwhile this is Twitter’s response to the geotagging issue. Would have liked an apology/acknowledgement that it was a mistake. Will test it again today.”
Reposting: Meanwhile this is Twitter’s response to the geo tagging issue. Would have liked an apology/acknowledgement that it was a mistake. Will test it again today pic.twitter.com/GP9z2x8kA9— Nitin A. Gokhale (@nitingokhale) October 20, 2020
Twitter fixes ‘technical glitch’, gets it horribly wrong, yet again
On Tuesday, Nitin A Gokhale went live on Twitter yet again but this time from the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport area in Leh. He discussed the hustle and bustle in one of the busiest military terminals along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). He informed how the airport served as a military terminal for soldiers, departing for their official leave and arriving from temporary postings and leave period.
However, to his surprise, the national security analyst found that the microblogging platform had not fixed the technical glitch, despite being well aware of the sensitivity around it. Even though Twitter did not include Leh as part of the People’s Republic of China anymore, it, however, labelled the region as part of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Constitutional amendment and the status of Ladakh
On August 5 last year, the Indian government abrogated Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and bifurcated the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate Union territories. While Jammu and Kashmir was designated the status of Union territory with a legislative assembly, the region of Ladakh has been converted into Union territory, directly administered by the Central government. Leh, which falls in Ladakh, is, therefore, a part of the Union territory of Ladakh and not Jammu and Kashmir anymore.
You are still getting it wrong @Twitter @TwitterSupport @TwitterIndia Leh airport is shown in Jammu and Kashmir! See my live broadcast. Leh fyi is in the Union Territory of Ladakh. Or is it your case that the reorganisation done last year is illegal? See attached screenshot pic.twitter.com/cIOo5cjER9— Nitin A. Gokhale (@nitingokhale) October 20, 2020
It is pertinent to mention that Twitter did not choose to update its geolocation tagging feature, despite being more than a year to the above mentioned constitutional amendments. Recently, it was also found that default weather apps of Chinese phones in India do not show reports for cities that China considers as ‘disputed. When OpIndia tried to make search queries, it found that the default weather app on Xiaomi phones did not provide results for districts including Itanagar, Pasighat and Longding.