With the Centre Vs Twitter row taking new turns, the recent one being the sudden disappearance of blue ticks from the account of eminent leaders on the pretext of inactivity, the Co-founder and CEO of Koo, Aprameya Radhakrishna, in an exclusive conversation with Republic Media Network's Executive on Saturday affirmed that any sort of verification, including that of a blue tick, is given to differentiate the eminent people from the common ones in the digital world, and had nothing to do with activity or inactivity.
"Eminent verification is irrespective of activity," he said while giving the example of Koo, which is targeted as being an Indian play on Twitter. "We at Koo, verify the personalities, which are already eminent in the outside world to differentiate them from the many general users on the platform, and that is the whole idea of verification." He went on, " It has nothing to do with the activity of inactivity.
He also outlined that verification of general citizens was also extremely necessary on social media platforms. "If we are in a hall full of people and there are certain people- unmasked and real, saying something, and then there are people who are masked are reacting on the things said, then the people who are real should be at advantage," he said while highlighting that by verification of accounts the post of those who are unverified will not be paid much heed to, as happens now. He further pointed out that the guidelines are paving way for it.
Keeping in view the entire controversy surrounding the bias of Twitter, which became evident after the toolkit controversy, he said that platforms should be like a microphone, which simply helps the speaker speak, and not tell him/her what to speak. "There are black and white areas, like pornography and evident social media harassment of women, and there the platforms can actually have a say but as far as the grey areas are concerned, like opinions, the platforms should not have a say."
"There are people out there to judge if the content is appropriate or inappropriate, true or false, it is not really the job of the platform to decide."
He also took the opportunity to once again laud the guidelines of the government, which Twitter has till now not complied with. Affirming that they have brought all the social media platforms to a levelled field, he reiterated that it is in the best interest of the users. " As an Indian company, following the law of the land is a no brainer, but even if we go out, we will follow the law of that land," he said in what seemed like a dig at Twitter.
The 'blue tick' verified badge is aimed at letting people know that an account of public interest is authentic. As per the existing policy, the account will only be verified if is authentic, notable, and active. Persons who have not logged into their accounts in the last 6 months, not had a 12-hour or 7-day lockout for violating Twitter rules in the last 12 months, engaged in platform manipulation and engaged in spreading hateful content are automatically excluded.