Union IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar today had subtle warning for WhatsApp as the messaging platform, on its Twitter handle, posted a graphic that showed an incorrect map of India. It later deleted that tweet and apologised.
The map, while highlighting India on the globe, had excluded Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and some Indian territories claimed by China.
In a "request" to WhatsApp to correct it, the minister said in a quote-tweet: "All platforms that do business in India and/or want to continue to do business in India, must use correct maps."
Mr Chandrasekhar tagged Meta, the company that owns WhatsApp among other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
It was within hours of WhatsApp sending out the tweet — publicising its multi-location livestream for New Year's Eve — that the minister noticed and addressed Meta around 4 pm.
WhatsApp then deleted and tweeted: "Thank you Minister for pointing out the unintended error; we have promptly removed the stream, apologies. We will be mindful in the future."
Mr Chandrasekhar had, earlier this week, also cautioned video calling company Zoom's founder Eric Yuan over an incorrect map of India. "Your may want to make sure you use correct maps of the countries you do/want to do business in," the minister had tweeted on December 28. Eric Yuan, too, later deleted the tweet with the map.
In June 2021, Twitter as a platform had come under heavy criticism for displaying a distorted map of India, and removed it after online backlash.
Wrong depiction of India's territory can lead to a police case and the law provides for jail term too.
India has expressed displeasure earlier as well at companies and other bodies, even the World Health Organization, over using wrong maps, particularly over the depiction of Kashmir.