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Ravi Shankar Prasad asks Twitter to help curb online extremism, brings up Jammu, Pakistan faux pas

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:46 IST

Twitter and other social media platforms need to ensure that they are not abused to spread terrorism and extremism, Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. He also cautioned that India is "sitting in the midst of a mini-terrorist hub".

Prasad met Twitter Global Policy head, Colin Crowell, and discussed issues regarding the usage of social media, security and privacy as well as the issue of the geographical representation of Jammu on the microblogging platform. After the meeting, Prasad told reporters:

"I flagged one important issue to him, namely that while we fully welcome social media, we respect freedom of speech and expression, but Twitter also needs to ensure this lovely platform is not abused for terrorism and extremism".

"... but people do abuse this platform and that care ought to be taken... India is sitting in the midst of a mini terrorist hub and faces this danger, he (Crowell) acknowledged this problem. In fact he also said that Twitter removed more than 1,00,000 entries because of this"

The minister confirmed that he had raised the issue of Twitter's location-tagging service having displayed Jammu as a part of Pakistan and J&K being in.

"I formally communicated our deep sense of dismay and disapproval on this. A greater sensitivity needs to be shown by these platforms as far as our geographical identity and integrity is concerned".

A number of Twitter users criticised Twitter for the goof-up with some terming it being biased against India.

According to sources, the discussion between Prasad and Crowell also included the issue of government requests for sharing users' data - like the Apple-FBI row. There was reportedly a consensus on enhancing engagement.

Later this week, Twitter will unveil the 'Twitter for good' programme in India - an initiative to help provide relief in case of natural disasters.

The telecom minister also invited the US-based firm to participate in India's Digital literacy programme.

-With agency inputs

First published: 24 February 2016, 11:51 IST