New Delhi: Koo — Twitter’s made-in-India competitor — offered to migrate all historical tweets to any Twitter user who wants to migrate to its platform that will continue not to charge users for a verification badge, co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna said. Since acquiring Twitter in a US$44 billion deal in October, Elon Musk has fired its staff, overhauled its moderation policies, set a price for account verification, and reinstated previously banned accounts including those of former US President Donald Trump.
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In recent days, he suspended the accounts of several high-profile journalists who were covering him without warning, but was forced to reinstate the accounts after heavy criticism from government officials, press organizations and advocacy groups. Koo, which allows users to express views in Hindi, has already surpassed 50 million downloads and is now flying into the competitor’s nest, launching a campaign to attract Twitter users, offering self-verification and a free yellow check mark for VIPs.
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He said he is now offering to pass any tweet, except for replies, likes or retweets of someone else’s tweet, to Kou to escape the “intellectual assassination” resulting from a Twitter account suspension. “A lot has happened in the 45 odd days since the world’s town square became a one-man megaphone,” Radhakrishna told PTI, adding that Twitter is now “the personal property of the smartest and richest man in the world.” He said the debacle of the suspension of the accounts of several high-profile journalists, including reporters from the New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post, and the subsequent reinstallation, brings sharp focus to a point that is very important especially for journalists and creators.
“If you are a person who speaks his mind and engages others in discussion and debate – commenting necessarily means that you lose access to years of creativity, ideas, connections and ideas,” he said.
And all this because a new rule came out yesterday and no one fully understands it. “There is only a blank screen to display for all the hard intellectual work of several years,” he said. Radhakrishna said Koo devised a simple and elegant solution to escape from this “black hole”. “Just migrate to Ku!” Under Settings, a neat and simple button allows you to migrate all your Tweets to Koo.
“Just click on the migration button and follow the simple onscreen instructions and all your tweets will be transferred to your Koo account seamlessly.” He said that all of the original, historical tweets will go to Ku. Also, all the accounts a migrant user might follow on Twitter can be tracked and if they are available on Koo, they can be followed with a simple click. However, the immigrant Twitter user’s followers will not be carried over unless they also convert to Koo. “You can search for your friends and followers on Koo and start connecting with them,” he said.
Ko believes in enabling trustworthy and healthy conversations between people. Earlier this year, it offered voluntary self-checking for free, and more than 1.25 thousand Indians have taken advantage of the right, he said.
“It is inconceivable that, in this day and age, one man has the power to erase your digital existence and remove all traces of your creativity. History and creativity cannot be held hostage to a billionaire’s $44 billion game,” he said.
“Koo provides everyone with an equal opportunity to express themselves in a language of their choice and keep their thoughts and opinions at bay for all times to come. So go ahead, escape Twitter and engage in a platform that truly sets you free.” Serial entrepreneur Radhakrishna, known for building ride-sharing company TaxiForSure (acquired by Ola for US$200 million in 2015), started Koo — a language-focused micro-blogging platform — in early 2020.
It was meant to be a very local alternative to Twitter. He believes that fame is an acknowledgment of a person’s influence, prestige, accomplishments, abilities, or professional status, and awards Koo a Yellow Tick against user profiles based on transparent, predetermined criteria that reflect regional spirit and achievement. He said that the Koo Eminence Tick cannot be bought and given forever. Musk, who considers himself the “absolute freedom of expression,” witnessed a 4.7 percent decline in electric car maker Tesla shares on Friday, recording its worst weekly loss since March 2020, after the accounts of journalists were suspended.
It was restored on Saturday. Also on Friday, Twitter suspended an official account belonging to Koo, which was set up for user inquiries. @kooeminence’s visit now shows that the account has been suspended, and his tweets are no longer visible.
Koo co-founder Mayank Pedwatka took to Twitter to mourn the loss of the account, emphasizing that his micro-blogging platform is the best alternative to Twitter. “I’ve said this before. We run Koo and journalists should just migrate. Migration tools are available. Koo is the best alternative to Twitter. This place is what it is because of you and millions of other users like us.” He also asked about the rationale behind the comment, saying.
This is not democracy. This is a strong need to exercise power and control. And it should not be allowed. We need to talk! Twitter is also blocking users from sending links to some Mastodon servers – another major competitor to Twitter. Disallow mastodon links that say they are not safe. – Ban handle eminence ku. I mean seriously. How much control does a man need? “
He tweeted, “We never create policies in a vacuum. Everything is user-centered and transparent. It’s the most inclusive platform. It’s time to take action rather than just discuss.” As for PTI, Radhakrishna said Koo is also an unwitting victim of a one-man mission and her high-profile account has been suspended for circumventing Twitter’s policy to evade a ban.
“Mastodon also met a similar fate to a mysterious crime that only existed two days ago,” he said. Bedawatka, in a series of tweets, questioned the rationale behind the suspension of the @kooeminence account, which was set up just a few days ago for inquiries posted by celebrities and VIPs looking to use the Indian social media platform. “Publishing publicly available information is not an investigation. Why are they shooting the messenger? The journalists who posted the links did nothing wrong. Posting a link to publicly available information does not impersonate the way posting a link to an article online is not plagiarism.” Co-founder Koo said: “And guess what! Suddenly. Suddenly #ElonIsDestroyingTwitter has been removed from the trends section. Twitter is a publisher. It’s not a platform anymore!” he added.