MANGALURU: The Pumpwell ghost has made a comeback to haunt state BJP president and Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel. Some miscreants have put misleading markers such as 'Pumpwall – The Great Wall of Pumpwell' and 'Nalin Kumar Seasonal Lake' on the Google Map and the screenshots of the map have since gone viral on social media.
The markers are seen as a swipe at Nalin in the wake of the recent flooding at the Pumpwell Flyover following heavy rains. Although G Ananth Prabhu, a cyber expert, and a verified Google user, reported the 'mischief' to the Google authorities soon after the matter came to his notice on Saturday, only one marker – Nalin Kumar Seasonal Lake, was removed, while another still existed on the map on Sunday. Nalin was under attack as construction of Pumpwell Flyover took nearly a decade before it was opened to the public a year ago.
Prabhu told TNIE that another marker was not removed as there are lot of reviews on that marker. “Some of the reviews are from verified users and they have described the Pumpwall as 'great monument' and others which has made its removal difficult now,” he pointed out. He added that the marker should be immediately removed in the interest of Mangaluru city and there are chances of people being misguided.
Prabhu said that Google Map is an crowd source map and hence anybody can put 'markers' or 'labels' indicating locations. While most of the people use the option to mark their business establishments on the map in order to guide the users, some misuse it for political gains and other motives. Unlike in Wikepedia which is also a open source, Prabhu said the person who puts markers on Google Maps will not be known as it is closed source and does not require a login. However, the IP address will be captured and an investigation by either police or Google can trace it.
The misguiding marker is considered as a 'Computer related crime' under section 66 of IP Act, according to Prabhu which can attract three years imprisonment and a Rs 1 lakh fine if a person is found guilty for carrying out such crime. He said as per the Intermediary Guidelines and Social Media Ethics Code 2021, the Google nodal officer of India has to immediately respond to any such complaints.