Twitter faced backlash after its geo-tagging feature displayed "Jammu & Kashmir, People's Republic of China" in a live broadcast from Leh.

Twitter HQ in San Francisco
Atom Social Media Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 13:54

Twitter has reportedly apologised verbally before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) over showing Leh as part of China during a live broadcast. It also said in a statement on Wednesday that it remains committed to openness and transparency and will stay in regular touch with the government to share timely updates.

The company's statement comes in the backdrop of its appearance in front of the joint committee of parliament on Data Protection Bill, 2019, on Wednesday. Representatives of the social media company were also questioned by the members on showing Ladakh as part of China.

They were questioned for more than two hours by the panel members, mainly on Ladakh being shown as part of China on the Twitter app.

Committee chairman Meenakshi Lekhi had told PTI that Twitter's explanations to the panel on showing Ladakh as part of China were "inadequate" and that the act amounts to criminal offence attracting imprisonment of seven years. Representatives of Twitter had told the panel that the company respects the sensitivities of India.

"The recent geo-tagging issue was swiftly resolved by our teams. We are committed to openness, transparency around our work and will remain in regular touch with the government to share timely updates," a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Twitter had come under heavy criticism and faced a backlash from social media users after its geo-tagging feature displayed "Jammu & Kashmir, People's Republic of China" in a live broadcast from Leh's Hall of Fame, a war memorial for fallen soldiers in the Union Territory of Ladakh.

Twitter had called it a technical issue that had been swiftly resolved.

Last week, the government had written to Twitter on the issue, saying any disrespect of the country's sovereignty and integrity is totally unacceptable.

Lekhi said Twitter was also asked about its banning policy.

"Shadow banning, banning policy there is no clarity about it. Such actions are very subjective... Twitter is becoming a law onto themselves and under these circumstances, they are violating Article 19 of the Constitution about the freedom of expression," she said.

Sources said some members also raised questions about Twitter's transparency policy and its actions during elections, especially vis-a-vis their policies in other countries.

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