WhatsApp's 'middle finger emoji' could face the axe!

A Delhi-based lawyer has issued WhatsApp a legal notice over their “middle finger” emoji stating that the emoji is obscene and a lewd gesture


Taking offence has reached a new low in India as a lawyer has issued WhatsApp a legal notice over their “middle finger” emoji. Yes, you heard that right!

An advocate on Tuesday sent a legal notice to instant messaging app WhatsApp, asking it to remove the “middle finger” emoji within 15 days.

Gurmeet Singh, who practices as a lawyer in smog-clad Delhi said that showing the middle finger is not only illegal but an obscene and lewd gesture — an offence in India. In the notice, the advocate said: "Showing off the middle finger is not only offensive but a highly belligerent, invasive, obscene, lewd gesture.” 

“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,” Singh stated in his notice.

“By offering to use middle finger emoji in your app, you (WhatsApp Inc) are directly abetting the use of offensive, lewd, obscene gesture,” the notice said. 

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, it said, threatening to file civil or criminal cases if the app fails to remove it.

Now it remains to be seen how the IM giants react to this absurd demand and if the middle finger gesture will really be taken down from the app. What does Mumbai think, should the emoji be taken down or should it be present? 

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