WhatsApp's Middle Finger Emoji Is "Offensive", Delhi Lawyer Wants It Removed Within 15 Days

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It seems not everyone likes using emoji in their daily chats, and certainly not ones that older folks might find controversial.

Earlier this week, an advocate sent a legal notice to Facebook-owned WhatsApp, demanding it remove the “middle finger” emoji in its messaging app within 15 days

Gurmeet Singh, who is a lawyer in New Delhi’s city courts, said displaying the gesture in question is not only obscene, but also illegal in India. “Showing of middle finder is not only offensive but a highly belligerent, invasive, obscene, lewd gesture,” he said 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,” The notice continued.

According to Singh, WhatsApp is “directly abetting” the use of the colloquial cuss/slang. You know, despite the fact that it would be used in a private conversation, and is a digital image smaller than your fingernail.

If WhatsApp fails to remove the emoji from its service within the time period specified, the lawyer has threatened the company with a civil or criminal case. Well good luck to you good sir.

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