Indian engineer sentenced to 5 years for blasphemy in Saudi Arabia

An engineer from Kerala working with a petroleum company in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to five years of imprisonment and a fine of around Rs 30 lakhs for his tweets. With this, Vishnudev, a native of Alleppey in Kerala, has become the first Indian to be punished under Saudi Arabia’s stricter anti-blasphemy laws that […]

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 […]

Govt faces questions over the ‘trolling’ of Sushma Swaraj in LS

Trinamool Congress MP Prasun Banerjee today raised the issue of the recent ‘trolling’ of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in Parliament. Over the last several days, Swaraj has come under attack on social media after she took disciplinary action against an official of the Lucknow Regional Passport Office for allegedly denying passports to a Hindu-Muslim […]

Twitter doubles ‘word limit’ to 280 characters

After years of debate, micro-blogging website Twitter is testing a higher word limit for some of its users, including some in India. Users, particularly active ones with large following, have been pleasantly surprised to see the limit of 140 characters relaxed as of today morning. “This is a small change, but a big move for […]

Smriti Irani Trumps PTI: Takes to twitter to expose ‘fake news’

Smriti Irani, who recently took on the role of the union minister for information and broadcasting has started off with a bang by alleging that the country’s largest news wire distributed photo Chennai floods claiming them to be those of the floods in Gujarat. Unlike her predecessors, who would bring such matters to attention through […]

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 […]

Arvind Kejriwal protests after Twitter cracks down on AAP accounts

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal took to his account to protest the deletion of several AAP accounts after the social media company changed its anti-abuse algorithm. Three days ago, Twitter had said that it was putting in more safeguards against abuse and manipulation on its platform — a very widespread complaint. “This week we’re […]

PM Modi’s official Twitter account gets ambushed by AAP

For long, the Bharatiya Janata Party held the upper hand on Twitter — which — along with comment boards on news websites — forms the ‘wild west’ of political online campaigning in India with large-scale manipulation, ‘fake’ accounts, bullying and targeted attacks. Not to be outdone, the Aam Aadmi Party — or some of its […]

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 […]