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Legal Notice Issued to WhatsApp For the Removal of Middle Finger Emoji

The legal notice requires that the emoji be removed from the mobile based messenger application within 15 days from the date of the notice by the WhatsApp.Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has also been sent a copy of legal notice issued to WhatsApp
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Nowadays there is an emoji/emoticon to express every emotion from hey, thumbs up to various kinds of faces showing smile, disgust and anger. Emojis are becoming increasingly popular in the electronic media.

However amidst of all these widely popular emojis or emoticons there is one emoji of middle finger which seems offensive to many in the society and for the removal of this middle finger emoji an Advocate Gurmeet Singh has issued legal notice to the WhatsApp.

The legal notice requires that the emoji be removed from the mobile based messenger application within 15 days from the date of the notice by the WhatsApp.Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has also been sent a copy of legal notice issued to WhatsApp.

For supporting his stand for removal of middle finger emoji, Advocate Gurmeet Singh contended that the Sections 354 and 509 of Indian Penal Code states that to show obscene, lewd and offensive gestures to female is an offense. Further use of obscene, lewd and offensive gestures by anyone is illegal.

Various incidents where people have been prosecuted for showing the obscene hand gesture have been listed by him. One of the incidents listed by him is the prosecution and removal faced by a municipal judge for showing the offensive gesture to defendant while hearing traffic court proceedings.

It was stated in the legal notice that the offer to use the middle finger emoji by the WhatsApp is the abetment of using lewd, obscene and offensive gesture. It is stated that the showing of middle finger not only being illegal is also offensive and obscene which has been recognized as a offence under the Indian Penal Code. The legal notice prayed that the emoji of middle finger be removed from the app within 15 days from the date of the legal notice. The legal notice is dated 26 December, 2017.

However, WhatsApp replying to legal notice via email has specifically stated that they are not going to change their list of emojis.

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Reviewed by:
Mehak Sharma
Published on 27th Dec, 2017
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