NEW DELHI: Today, the mobile messaging app WhatsApp received a legal notice asking it to remove the “middle finger” emoji within 15 days. An advocate, Gurmeet Singh sent this notice to WhatsApp.
Showing the middle finger is not only illegal but an obscene and lewd gesture — an offence in India, said the advocate.
In the notice, Mr. Gurmeet Singh said: “…showing of middle finder is not only offensive but a highly belligerent, invasive, obscene, lewd gesture.”
The advocated, Mr. Singh also stated in the notice: “As per the Indian Penal Code Sections 354 and 509, it is an offence to show obscene, lewd, offensive gestures to females. Use of a lewd, offensive, obscene gesture by anyone is hereby illegal also as aforesaid. As per section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994 showing of the middle finger is also an offence in Ireland”.
“By offering to use middle finger emoji in your app, you (WhatsApp Inc) are directly abetting the use of offensive, lewd, obscene gesture,” said Mr Singh in the notice. An emoji is used to express an idea or emotion through a small digital image or icon.
Therefore, it is requested that the middle finger emoji or character or photo must be removed from WhatsApp within 15 days from the date of the present legal notice, the notice said, According to the notice, in case the messaging app fails to remove it, a civil or criminal case will be filed against the company.