Yuva - India

Koo Vs Twitter

At a time when twitter is on the mat, the surge of people migrating to its Indian adversary KOO is definitely making the American social media platform feel the heat.

The KOO Vs Twitter battle in India is heating up and things are unpredictable for twitter’s operation in India without it paying for the kind of haven it became for people inciting riots and spreading anti- India propaganda during the ongoing farmers’ protests and the 26th of January riots.

As evident, twitter has always given importance to the left- leaning opinions which are shared on the platform and simultaneously, clamped down the dissenting voices of the right- wingers in India. Albeit this biased attitude of the platform’s officials cannot be condoned, what twitter has now stooped down to was not even imaginable.

As known, the Indian government had directed twitter to block 250 handles which were identified to be inciting riots and anarchy during the farmers’ protests, especially on the republic day of the country. These handles were found to be using provocative hash tags related to ‘farmers’ genocide’ and spreading misinformation which was egging on the protesting ‘farmers’ to unleash violence and create chaos on the 26th of January. As told, twitter blocked the IDs and it seemed like the platform complied with the orders of the government. But surprisingly, the listed handles were unblocked within 5 hours of suspension and were given a free run despite the government’s directive against the same.

After this brazen non- compliance and disrespect of the law of the land on the part of twitter, the central government sent a stern legal notice to the platform warning the officials of dire consequences if they continued to defy the Indian laws. Following which, on Tuesday, twitter beseeched the Indian electronics and IT ministry for a meeting.

Shockingly, twitter issued a ‘blog post’ the very next day before the meeting was to take place. Using this blog post, twitter attempted to justify its stance and claimed that it had taken steps to reduce the visibility of hash tags containing harmful and provocative content that included prohibiting them from trending and appearing as recommended search terms.

Along with this, the blog post stated that twitter has withheld a portion of the accounts which were the part of the list given by the Indian government. The post also said that no action had been taken against the accounts of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians. Twitter officials also had the audacity to express what they believed and mentioned in the blog post that blocking the accounts zeroed down by the government would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law.

On Wednesday, during the video conference meeting between Twitter’s Monique Meche and Jim Baker and India’s Information Technology Secretary, Ajay Kumar Sawhney, Mr. Sawhney categorically stated that although twitter was free to formulate its own rules and guidelines, Indian laws which are enacted by the Parliament of India, must be followed irrespective of the platform’s own rules.

While Twitter seems destined to face stringent legal action against it by the Indian government, Indian citizens are bidding adieu to the San Francisco- based platform too. Twitter now has a strong nemesis which is attracting Indians towards itself at a fast pace. People are migrating from Twitter to Koo, a homegrown substitute to Twitter which was launched in March 2020 and is now gaining prominence among netizens in India. It had also won the Atmanirbhar App challenge organized by the Indian government.

The Koo mania is augmenting each day and not only commonplace Indians but celebrities, sportsmen and even politicians associated with the ruling party are joining the platform. After Twitter released the blog post on Wednesday, it was Koo talking to which the IT ministry labelled Twitter’s move to be ‘unusual’ and stated, “Upon the request of Twitter seeking a meeting with the government, the secretary IT was to engage with senior management of Twitter. In this light a blog post published prior to this engagement is unusual. Government will share its response soon.”

Twitter’s Indian rival has gained over three million downloads during a time when Twitter is at loggerheads with the government. Indians are overwhelmed to migrate to Koo because this is one of the most colossal steps towards the making of an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Another reason behind the American social media giant losing its users is its blatant and brazen bias towards the left cabal of the country. People have finally found a platform where they can raise their voices and share their opinions without being apprehensive of a sudden and unexplained restriction or suspension of their handles.

Koo said that it has so far verified handles of the MeitY, MyGov, Digital India, India Post, UMANG app, Digi locker, among others, on its platform. Government departments setting up their IDs on Koo is a strategic move at a time when Twitter reckons itself to be above the law of this land.

People are moving to Koo and government departments have verified handles on the Indian platform, but this is clearly not enough. The long leash which was given to twitter till now needs to be pulled back. A platform which has the audacity to shamelessly go against the directives of the Indian government has absolutely no right to gain whopping amounts of money through the users of this nation. It’s high time that the government bans the operation of this platform in India, at least temporarily if not forever. Twitter needs to have the taste of its own medicine. TWITTER NEEDS TO GO.

Amusingly, homegrown Koo and its increasing popularity are rattling the left- liberal gang. The leftists have begun spewing venom against Koo and the right- wingers yet again. On Thursday, India Today and leftists like Prashant Bhushan levelled allegations against Koo and claimed that the platform is leaking users’ personal information and has connections with China!

Even more amusing is the fact that hashtags like #BanTwitterInIndia and those related to the Koo app are trending on Twitter itself! One would like to urge everyone who comes across this article to join the Indian platform and become a part of the Koo Revolution to make India ‘atmanirbhar’ and help Koo turn global soon!

Sonakshi Datta

Intern, Goa Chronicle
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