If you are active on Twitter, this is going to surprise you. Head over to the trending section on the microblogging site and you will be able to see #BanTwitter trending. Such irony. Right? Users are tweeting about banning Twitter on Twitter.
This comes after the battle between the microblogging site and the Indian government on pulling down or suspending some accounts, hashtags, among others related to farmers’ protest. While Twitter finally — after a long negotiation — banned more than 500 accounts, the platform headed by Jack Dorsey did clarify in an official blog post that no accounts belonging to any news media entities, journalists, activists, or politicians have been taken down.
What Twitter said
In an official blog post, Twitter stated, “To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law. We informed MeitY [Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology] of our enforcement actions today.” These accounts have been suspended as they tweeted in support of farmers’ protests. Also Read – Indian Twitter alternative Koo app getting popular: What is it, how to get started?
The microblogging site also stated that the suspended Twitter handles are only blocked within the country and are visible outside of the country. This is because Twitter believes orders by the Indian government are inconsistent with local law. The blog post further highlighted, “over the course of the last 10 days, Twitter has been served with several separate blocking orders by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.” It added, “out of these, two were emergency blocking orders that we temporarily complied with but subsequently restored access to the content in a manner that we believe was consistent with Indian law. After we communicated this to MeitY, we were served with a non-compliance notice.”
Centre calls Twitter’s blog post “unusual” as it was released at the time when the platform was considering connecting with the Indian government officials. Meity took to the homegrown app Koo and stated, “Upon the request of Twitter seeking a meeting with the Govt., the Secretary IT was to engage with senior management of Twitter. In this light a blog post published prior to this engagement is unusual. Govt. will share its response soon.” Koo app has gained wide popularity in the country as ban Twitter trends on the Twitter.
Which are other countries banned twitter already & why?
Social media networking sites such as Twitter play a pivotal role for people to share news, information, and communicate with friends. However, some countries would rather see Twitter blocked for good. Millions of people love Twitter, but there are also those who don’t understand it, or of course, those who couldn’t give a Tweeting hoot about it. But for the 288 million monthly active Twitter users who use the online social networking service it’s part of their daily routine, from Tweeting about cats to political views. Twitter is part of our daily addiction to social media, combined with our infatuation with Instagram and YouTube.
While the majority of us can happily virtually hang-out with the other members of Twittersphere, there are many people who aren’t able to join in on debates, Tweet about sport, and following the latest trend. Why? Because their country has put a block on Twitter.
So, which countries block Twitter? Which countries ban Twitter because their ideas on freedom of expression differ greatly from others around the world? Which countries block Twitter because they fear criticism? And which countries no longer ban Twitter?
Twitter has been blocked in China since March 2009 and remains blocked to this day. The block was imposed after a small group of China’s Muslim ethnic minority used the site to exchange information which resulted in deadly riots in Xinjiang.
Twitter has been blocked in Iran since 2009 after contentious presidential elections. But that hasn’t stopped Iranian President Hassan Rouhani from owning a Twitter account. Rouhani, seen as the “moderate” President in the country, has over 300,000 followers.
You’d be hard-pressed to find an internet connection in North Korea unless you’re lucky enough to come from an elite family or a research institution – and only then you’ll have access to Kwangmyong the countries intranet system which pumps out governmental propaganda.
Memes on Twitter Ban
Internet is a funny place and at times somethings that happen here have no logic whatsoever. And almost a similar situation was witnessed recently when #BanTwitter started trending on Twitter itself. The situation is as ironic as it can get and made the meme factory explode with comments and reactions. Making fun of the #BanTwitter hashtag trending on Twitter, Check out some hilarious memes
Koo App & Twitter
Increasingly there is talk that India is going to ban Twitter. There is Koo in the air. With #BanTwitter trending in India, the homegrown alternative, called Koo has been getting a lot of attention. Everyone is going cuckoo over Koo, the yellow clone of the bluebird called Twitter, the world’s mightiest microblogging platform. Koo is being called the Indian Twitter-like Weibo is called the Chinese Twitter. Koo is a microblogging platform similar to Twitter. It is available in multiple languages including English, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Bengali, and Malayalam.
While the two apps look similar, there are some differences in the way they work. The first difference is the additional support of local languages on Twitter. The platform also gives 400 characters to post, which is more than what users get on Twitter. This is because the platform believes that users need more characters to post in local languages.
There’s Twitter in India and by virtue of its sheer population, India is one of the biggest markets for Twitter. A number of popular personalities have opened accounts on Koo. These include union ministers Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad, singer Jaswinder Singh, author Amish Tripathi, sports personalities like Pawan Kumar, Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble, Bollywood actor Ashutosh Rana and more.
Apart from these personalities, Koo also has verified accounts of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), MyGov, India Post, National Informatics Centre, and more. Google Play Store is showing that the app has garnered over 10,00,000 downloads and currently has a rating of 4.5 on the Android app store.
What If Twitter Quits India
If indeed Twitter has to do an about-turn and actually give in to the government’s demand owing to the pressure of potential jail time, it is likely to affect its reputation in the western world. So let us assume for a second that it does not bend but breaks and walks away from India.
Perhaps, the most concerning part is that the Indian internet ecosystem is so desensitized to bans, content takedowns, and internet shutdowns that Twitter’s exit — if at all — may not actually remain on the radar for too long. While Twitter’s exit from India may have seemed unthinkable a few weeks ago.
Twitter gave an impression to express the emotions and get connected with celebrities all over the world. Twitter is an emotion; so definitely there is no way to replace Twitter in any spot.
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