Instant messaging app, WhatsApp, receives a legal notice by a Delhi-based advocate to remove the ‘middle finger’ emoji from the application.
Gurmeet Singh, a Delhi-based advocate who practises in city courts, has sent a legal notice to the social application to remove the ‘middle finger' emoji because it is a lewd and obscene gesture.
The notice which Singh sent to the company, said, “...showing of middle finger is not only offensive but a highly belligerent, invasive, obscene, lewd gesture.”
The notice read, “As per the Indian Penal Code Sections 354 and 509, it is an offence to show obscene, lewd, offensive gestures to women. 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.”
Emojis are digital icons, such as smileys, which are used in electronic messages for expressing emotions. Emojis include facial expressions, common day-to-day objects, places and types of weather, and animal faces and animals too.
They are used to express emotions during a conversation.
Gurmeet Singh, on the basis of this argument, sent a legal notice to the company asking them to remove the emoji from the list. He also threatened to file a civil or criminal case against the App if they company refuses to do so.
WhatsApp is yet to respond over the situation.