Malayalis conduct ‘Pongala’ on Imran Khan’s page after he calls Aug 15 ‘black day’

When Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan put up a black rectangle as the profile picture on his official Facebook page, it is unlikely that he anticipated the reaction, particularly from a small state across the border. Khan, who changed his profile picture to black on the night of Aug 14, simply wrote #15AugustBlackDay next to […]

Indian govt demands greater access from WhatsApp, Facebook & Twitter

India’s Information Technology Department today unveiled a new plan of action to combat fake news that would require foreign social media firms like Facebook, Twitter and Google to establish offices in India and actively help in flagging and tracking down people who post troublesome messages online. Ravi Shankar Prasad also said WhatsApp, in particular, has […]

Facebook most prompt in blocking posts; Twitter, Instagram least

Facebook has emerged as the social media platform that has the highest degree of compliance with Government of India’s blocking requests, while Twitter and Instagram have the least. In all, the government issued blocking requests for 2,205 posts in 2017 and 2018 (up to June), out of which 74% were taken down by the concerned […]

Facebook rejects police request to block ‘drinker’s group’

Facebook has refused to block a ‘drinker’s group’ that the Kerala Police had requested to be taken down, according to local media reports. The social network reportedly told the police that the group was not in violation of its guidelines and cannot be taken down without proper justification. The Kerala Excise department is trying to […]

Kerala FB users face jail for ‘promoting drinking’ via photos & posts

Social media users posting in one of Kerala’s biggest Facebook Groups are facing the prospect of being sent to jail for ‘encouraging alcoholism’ by glamorizing drinking. Given there’s no law against glamorizing drinking, Kerala Excise Department is reported to have directed the police to use other laws — such as those against child abuse and […]

Hospital stops asking patients’ for their religion after viral post

Authorities at Little Lourdes Mission Hospital near Pala in Kerala have stopped asking patients to specify their religion after a unique form of protest by a young man named Sunil K Sudheer. Sunil had reached the hospital earlier this week for a doctor’s appointment for his 58-year-old mother Sarasamma. “I started filling the registration form,” […]

How WhatsApp can easily fix the Fake News problem

WhatsApp, India’s largest communication platform used by an estimated 65% of the country’s online population, has come under scrutiny for providing a conduit to distribute ‘fake news’ after multiple cases of lynchings came to light. While the company has urged ‘society and companies’ to help tackle the menace, the messaging application has some more to […]

WhatsApp starts rolling out ‘verified accounts’ with IndusInd Bank

WhatsApp, the biggest interpersonal text-messaging platform in India, has started rolling out its ‘verified accounts’ feature with IndusInd Bank as one of its first customers. For now, verified accounts are limited to businesses, and will be used to assure customers that they are communicating with the official, and authorized, phone number of a business or […]

Facebook Pages now support Polls, Notes and other new features

Facebook, the largest social network on earth, has added several new features to its ‘Pages’ feature, including the ‘Poll’s option that was removed five years ago. Administrators of Facebook pages can now create a poll by clicking on the ‘+’ sign and choosing ‘polls’ as the type for the new post they are able to […]

Indian Govt & Courts block close to 4,000 internet urls in 2016 & 2017

The central government blocked 1,791 urls — websites or pages — and the courts blocked another 2,133 urls in 2016 and 2017, the department of telecom said. This was in addition to around 4,700 child pornography websites that were blocked as part of a CBI investigation. All content blocks on the internet are put in […]

Republic TV’s 5-star Facebook ratings disappear mysteriously

Tens of thousands of five-star ratings given to Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV mysteriously disappeared over night, pushing the rating on the channel’s official page to a low of 2.1 stars out of 5.0. It is not clear why the ratings were removed. Over the last three days, the channel has come under a ‘rating attack’ […]

Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV gets derated by Malayalis

Republic TV, the channel launched by Arnab Goswami — the former editor of Times Now — has come in for a barrage of criticism on social media after Malayalis took offence to what has been portrayed as repeated attempts by the channel to tarnish the reputation of the state. The channel, which used to be […]

Facebook joins Election Commission’s ‘No Voter Left Behind’ campaign

Social network Facebook said it has tied up with the Election Commission of India to remind Indians to register themselves to vote. “Starting from 1st July till 4th July, the voter registration reminder will be sent to people on Facebook in India who are eligible to vote,” Facebook said, on a day when the company […]

Facebook restores world’s biggest page for Atheists after outcry

Facebook has restored ‘Atheist Republic’, by far the biggest page operated by the Atheist community on any social media network, after it was shut down using ‘mass reporting’ by religious people. The move followed a big outcry among atheists and free-speech advocates online. The page was taken down about 24 hours ago, and remained inaccessible […]

Facebook stops chasing ‘Likes’, looks for ‘followers’ instead

Facebook has made a strategic change in the way it facilitates brands, organizations and celebrities interact with their followers on the social network. It has started de-emphasizing ‘likes’ and instead promoting ‘follows’. Unlike competing platforms like Google Plus and Twitter, Facebook has, for years, allowed users to follow a brand or celebrity or organization’s updates only […]

Facebook to start showing ads in Groups

Facebook, the biggest website in the world by amount of time spent, has started showing targeted advertising on ‘Groups’,  the social network’s equivalent of forums. The ads will be based on the interests of the user,  Facebook  said in a communication to group administrators. The move marks the coming of age of ‘Groups’, which Facebook […]

Quora imposes restrictions on anonymous users; to pre-screen anon content; stops likes, comments

Quora, the question and answer app that is very popular in certain pockets of population in India and abroad, said has made three crucial changes to its anonymity policy: installing a mandatory screening process, preventing anonymous users from liking and commenting, and removing direct linkage between anonymous content and their authors on the back-end systems. […]

Facebook biggest beneficiary of Reliance Jio free data

It’s common knowledge that Reliance Jio’s free data service has massively increased Internet usage in India, but a new report throws light on what categories have been benefited and which have not. The biggest beneficiary of the free data offer from Reliance Jio is — yes, you guessed it right — social media, which technically […]

Why Google’s takeover of Twitter is inevitable

When I started using social media about 8-9 years ago, Facebook and Twitter were largely equal in their cool factor. In fact, while it was not obvious what Facebook was (a more intrusive form of Orkut, anyone?), the possibilities of Twitter seemed as limitless as the places where your ‘contacts’ lived. Over the next nine years, Facebook […]