New Delhi: It may well be termed as Government of India's unofficial response to Twitter's disobedience of the request for blocking around 257 Tweets and Twitter accounts which tweeted about farmer genocide. The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and some other government departments have set up accounts on India's indigenous micro-blogging site Koo.
Govt termed those tweets, hashtag and Twitter account as ones "spreading misinformation about (farmer) protests and has the potential to lead to imminent violence affecting public order situation in the country," in a strongly-worded letter written to Twitter. Twitter in its response had said, it held meetings with government officials and conveyed that the accounts and posts in question constitute free speech and are newsworthy. Twitter had then 'unwithheld' the accounts to protect public conversation. The other accounts that were initially withheld included those of CPM politician Mohd Salim, farm organisation BKU Ekta Ugrahan and #Tractor2Twitter. However, while the govt officials, business people and ordinary tweeples were busy debating free speech and the US company’s compliance practices, Mahima Kaul, one Twitter’s top lobbyist in India had resigned.
Koo sees a surge in downloads
"Key organisations from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) have set up accounts on Koo, India''s own micro-blogging platform. This move comes as a strategic response as an action against Twitter for not complying with the order for blocking around 257 Tweets and Twitter accounts which were tweeting about farmer genocide," Koo said in a statement.
Koo said that the site has so far verified handles of MeitY, MyGov, Digital India, India Post, National Informatics Centre (NIC), National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), Common Services Centre, UMANG app, Digi Locker, National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), among others, on its platform.
Koo had been launched 10 months ago and won the Aatmanirbhar App Challenge organised by the Indian government. "We believe that it is important to build social networks keeping in mind local cultural nuances. Koo being deeply focussed on India will help ensure a consistent experience for all users on the platform.
We are humbled: Koo management
"We are humbled and at the same time excited by the adoption and encouragement by so many noteworthy personalities and recently the entry of the top-most government offices of the country onto Koo," its co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna.
Koo management claimed it has seen a surge in downloads after MeitY joined its platform.
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