Is an app called Koo is the real winner in Govt’s fight with Twitter?



The co-founder of the Indian microblogging app says that the platform, which is aiming to become an alternative to Twitter, is completely apolitical

Our Bureau
New Delhi

In response to the ”legal requests” from the Central government, Twitter on Wednesday informed that it has taken multiple enforcement actions — including permanent suspension of over 500 accounts for clear violations of Twitter’s rules.

The company informed that they took steps to reduce the visibility of the hashtags containing harmful content, which included prohibiting them from trending on Twitter. “Following the reports of violence in recent weeks, we are sharing a granular update on our proactive efforts to enforce our rules and defend our principles in India,” it said.

It further said that they separately withheld a portion of the accounts identified in the blocking orders under our ”Country Withheld Content” policy within India only. 

Earlier, the Central government has conveyed to Twitter officials that the manner in which the social media giant officially allows fake, unverified, and automated bot accounts to be operated on its platform, raises doubts about its commitment to transparency and healthy conversation on the platform.

This meeting took place in view of the order issued by the Centre directing Twitter to remove tweets and accounts using hashtag related to “farmer genocide” and accounts supported by Khalistan sympathizers and backed by Pakistan and blog post issued by Twitter. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in a press release revealed that the Ministry’s Secretary, in a virtual interaction with Twitter officials, expressed his deep disappointment to Twitter leadership about the manner in which it has unwillingly, grudgingly and with great delay complied with the substantial parts of the order.

He reminded Twitter that in India, its Constitution and laws are supreme. It is expected that responsible entities not only reaffirm but remain committed to compliance to the law of land, he said.

Meanwhile, several political leaders and celebrities, including Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, Devegowda, HD Kumaraswamy, Priyank Kharge have joined a new app called Koo. The co-founder of Indian microblogging app said that the platform, which is aiming to become an alternative to Twitter, is apolitical and its policies and systems do not understand any “Left or Right” policies.

Koo App

Aprameya Radhakrishna, co-founder of Koo app, told ANI that the system identifies every individual as a unique user and the effort is to give the best user experience. “Our system and policies don’t understand left or right. The system identifies every individual as a unique user and we as a platform have to serve all to the best of our capabilities and give the best user experience. Me or Mayank as co-founders of Koo, have no political lineage. That way we are totally apolitical,” he said.

He said that the Koo app is for every Indian citizen and who follows Indian law.

“We are driving the platform for every Indian and like every citizen and as an Indian company, we are bound by Indian law and the Constitution of India. Like the principle of our Constitution, we also believe in making it an ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’ platform,” he said.

Asked about Chinese investment in his start-up, Aprameya Radhakrishna said Koo is totally Aatmanirbhar app. He said Indian entrepreneurs invest in Koo, a set of Indian entrepreneurs are investing in Koo “with Ashish Hemrajani from BookMyShow, Vivekananda from Bounce, Nikhil Kamat of Zerodha amongst various others entering the cap table of the company”.

“It is a clear indication that the company is getting more and more Indian money into the company.”

Aprameya Radhakrishna said a Chinese company that invested in a previous start-up will be exiting soon.  The data he claims visible is something that the user has voluntarily shown on their profile of Koo. It cannot be termed a data leak. If you visit a user profile you can see it anyway,” Aprameya Radhakrishna said.

“We are just a 10-month-old platform and this sudden surge in our visibility and user base was unexpected. We are improving our platform day by day. All these technical issues are not something that cannot to dealt with or improved,” he added.

Aprameya Radhakrishna said he is hopeful that in the coming days, personalities across the political spectrum will join Koo to connect with their regional audience.

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