With over 1 million followers on Twitter, RBI creates a world record


In a first among central banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has become the first monetary authority in the world to have more than 1 million followers on its official Twitter handle.

Despite much less monetary firepower, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has beaten the world’s most powerful central banks — the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank — on Twitter by a wide margin, emerging as the most popular central bank on the microblogging site with over 1 million followers.

As of Sunday, the RBI handle is followed by as many as 10,00,513 people around the world. The achievement is impressive as the 85-year-old Reserve Bank was also a latecomer to the world of Twitter as it created the account only in January 2012.

According to the latest information available on the RBI’s Twitter handle ‘@RBI’, the number of followers has increased from 9.66 lakh on September 27, 2020 to over 10 lakh as of Sunday. “RBI Twitter account reaches 1 million followers today. A new milestone. Congratulations to all my colleagues in RBI,” Governor Shaktikanta Das Tweeted on Sunday.

At the second slot is the much lesser known central bank of Mexico (Banco de Mexico) with 7.74 lakh followers, followed by Bank of Indonesia (7.57 lakh). The US Federal Reserve, the world’s most powerful central bank, has only 6.77 lakh followers, placing it at a distant fourth slot. With 5.91 lakh followers the Frankfurt-headquartered European Central Bank, the second most powerful monetary authority in the world, comes fifth.

At the sixth rank is the Central Bank of Brazil with 3.82 lakh followers and the Bank of England is at a distant seventh with 3.17 lakh followers. The Bank of Canada comes next with 1.80 lakh and the State Bank of Pakistan is the ninth largest with 1.16 lakh followers. At the tenth slot is the Reserve Bank of Australia with 49,200 followers.

The central bank of France has just about 37,100 followers, while the Deutsche Bundesbank has around 30,000 followers.

The third most powerful monetary authority, the Bank of Japan, has only 28,900 followers on its Twitter account.

The US Fed joined Twitter in March 2009, while the ECB has been active on the micro-blogging site since October 2009.

Governor Das, who assumed office in December 2018, has a separate Twitter handle with 1.35 lakh followers.

Since March 2019, the count of followers has more than doubled from just about 3,42,000 to over 7,50,000 by March 2020. And during the first seven-week of lockdown that began on March 25, followers have increased by more than 1.5 lakh, according to an official.

In the current financial year, as many as 2.5 lakh new followers joined the RBI handle.

Besides the main Twitter handle, the RBI also has another Twitter account called ‘RBI Says’, which it uses to reach out to the common man and has also started a Facebook page with the same name in early April. It has also launched a customer awareness campaign to prevent gullible account-holders from being duped by fraudsters.



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Shashi Tharoor, Meenakshi Lekhi in war of words as House panel questions Twitter


By: Express News Service | New Delhi |

November 20, 2020 1:48:33 am





Shashi Tharoor, Meenakshi Lekhi.

SOCIAL MEDIA giant Twitter was in the cross hairs of the Meenakshi Lekhi-led parliamentary committee on personal data protection Bill once again on Thursday. The panel asked representatives of the micro-blogging site as to why it did not remove stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra’s tweets on the Supreme Court and a judge, and sought a reply from it in a week.

The move was questioned by Shashi Tharoor, head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology. “Dear @M_Lekhi, as far as I am aware your Committee was formed for consultations on the Data Protection Bill & its mandate is to report on the statutory provisions continued in the draft Bill. Could you clarify if you have taken on additional responsibilities & on whose authority?,” he tweeted.

Congress’s Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh, who is a member of the Lekhi-led panel, agreed. “I could not attend the meeting today, but had I been there I would have raised this very issue Shashi Tharoor. It is not the first time this has happened,” he tweeted.

Hitting back, Lekhi tweeted: “Travesty that I have to respond to people who are busy exhibiting their lack of understanding. I refuse to run law tutorials specifically when Sr Advocate from Congress Party Mr Vivek Tankha was present in the committee & has already concurred with me.”

Interestingly, Tankha grilled Twitter officials the most at Thursday’s meeting . He is learnt to have asked how Twitter can allow use of abusive language against a Constitutional functionary. He told the officials that India was a conservative society and does not tolerate disrespect of constitutional functionaries.

Last week, Attorney General K K Venugopal had granted consent for initiation of criminal contempt of court proceedings against Kamra over his “highly objectionable” tweets on the Supreme Court and a judge. Kamra had posted the tweets the day a vacation bench of Supreme Court granted interim bail to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in an alleged abetment to suicide case. Kamra has made it clear that he does not intend to retract his tweets or apologise.

Earlier, the panel had pulled up Twitter for wrongly showing Ladakh as a part of China in its local setting. Twitter has submitted an apology to the panel.

Speaking to reporters, Lekhi said, “It is shameful that Twitter is allowing its platform for obscene remarks like the one by stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra….”

When reached out for a reaction, a Twitter representative said, “We have no comment to share.”

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Weibo woes – Can Weibo do better than Twitter? | Business




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Twitter slows rollout of disappearing ‘fleets’ worldwide to sort out ‘performance issues’


Twitter Inc will slow down the rollout of tweets that disappear after 24 hours, a day after it launched the feature worldwide, in order to fix performance and stability issues, the company’s support team said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Twitter on Tuesday launched these ephemeral tweets, dubbed “fleets”, after having tested the feature in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea.

Also read: Twitter launches disappearing ‘fleets’ worldwide

“If you don’t have the feature yet, you may not get it for a few more days,” the support team said.

Fleets, which include text, photos and videos, will be available at the top of users’ home timelines on Twitter and on the sender’s profile.

Twitter and other major social media companies are under pressure to better police abuses and viral misinformation on their sites.



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AFL 2021: Rule changes, new rules, zones VFL, players reaction to new rules, interchange rotations, Steve Hocking, Mason Cox Twitter, Mitch Robinson, Tom Gribble


AFL players have taken to social media to voice concerns over the league’s newly announced rule changes, while one VFL player has lashed out at headquarters for treating second-tier players as “lab rats”.

The AFL on Wednesday announced a number of notable rule changes for the 2021 season, headlined by interchange rotations being reduced from 90 to 75.

Responding to the announcement on social media, Brisbane Lions star Mitch Robinson and American recruit Mason Cox were worried about the impact the changes will have on the game’s umpires.

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Grand Final





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Senators attack Facebook and Twitter over labeling election misinformation


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Senators hammered the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday over how their services handled election misinformation.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee complained that warnings the companies affixed to posts, like those by President Trump that falsely claimed to have been reelected, were unfair. Democrats, in turn, said the labels didn’t go far enough and worried that leaving posts up would cause the public to doubt the democratic process. 

“As we speak, Donald Trump is waging an all-out war on the truth…and one of his weapons of choice in this disinformation war is social media,” Democratic New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker told the CEOs, who attended via a video call. “You have the tools to prevent him from weaponizing these platforms.” 

Twitter and Facebook both recently introduced the labels to combat the expected onslaught of election-related lies. The companies also included links in those warnings to more credible sources, such as official results and news articles.

Almost as soon as the labels appeared during the lead up to the election, lawmakers went on the offensive against them. In fact, the labels are one rare thing that both parties agree on in their dislike, though for different reasons.

Tuesday’s hearing came three weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified before the Senate about Section 230, a law the protects Internet companies from being held liable for what their users post.

In their repeat performance, the CEOs defended their companies’ various election efforts, including labels that they said provided context to conversations. They insisted that their actions helped limit the spread of election misinformation. 

“We believe the labels point to a broader conversation so that people can see what’s happening with the election and with the results,” Twitter’s Dorsey responded under fire. 

Dorsey said Twitter applied more than 300,000 labels to tweets between Oct. 27 to Nov. 11, or 2.2% of all U.S. election tweets. Zuckerberg didn’t disclose how many labels Facebook added to election-related posts. 

Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, suggested by adding labels, the two companies are choosing what is fact and fiction, and therefore are picking sides. He also criticized the companies for reducing the sharing of a New York Post story that claimed to connect Joe Biden to corruption in Ukraine.

In a rapid-fire exchange with Dorsey, Cruz questioned Twitter’s decision to attach a label to posts claiming voter fraud that says voter fraud is “exceedingly rare” in the U.S. “That’s not linking to a broader conversation, that’s taking a disputed policy decision,” he said.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska argued that the companies are taking sides by labeling posts by conservatives as misinformation, but then don’t do the same for Democrats. He claimed that the bias is because employees of both California-based companies are mostly liberals.

“You’re applying content moderation policies in seemingly a way that’s not objective,” Sasse said. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, questioned a number of instances that Twitter labeled Trump’s tweets for spreading election misinformation. She complained that the tweets weren’t labeled quickly enough and that their language was too weak.

Zuckerberg, in response to Feinstein’s attack on Twitter, pointed out that Facebook had added voter information atop users’ news feeds to steer them to credible sources, regardless of what their friends had posted on the service. 

“All taken together, we went really quite far to distribute reliable and accurate information,” Zuckerberg said. 

Facebook and Twitter plan to continue their election labeling policies through the Georgia runoff election in January, when the Senate majority will be determined.  

More must-read tech coverage from Fortune:

  • Hackers are trying to disrupt and steal COVID-19 vaccine research
  • Here’s how President-elect Biden plans to tackle online abuse
  • What’s in a name? For Tesla’s Full Self Driving, it may be danger
  • What my day on conservative social network Parler was like
  • He’s worried A.I. may destroy humanity. Just don’t confuse him with Elon Musk



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Twitter to Offer “Fleets,” or Tweets That Disappear


Borrowing a page from both Snapchat and Instagram, and showing again the tendency of all of the major social media companies to constantly borrow ideas from one another, Twitter has announced a move into ephemeral content.

“That thing you didn’t Tweet but wanted to but didn’t but got so close but then were like nah,” Twitter described the new feature as, in a message Tuesday. “We have a place for that now—Fleets!” 

Per a video posted alongside the message, Fleetswhich presumably is a neologism meaning “fleeting tweets”—function similarly to Instagram stories. Users can post them, and then they go away after twenty-four hours. The feature is rolling out to all users Tuesday.

Like most changes and new features added to Twitter in recent years, much of the user base reacted by asking why Twitter did this in particular, and not by adding an edit button, or by striking back against harassment on the platform. Some pointed out that the option of making tweets disappear has existed all along, via the delete button.

Others had witty reactions.

“Naming tweets after a bespoke enema seems pitch-perfect to me, tbh,” tweeted writer Jacob Bachrach.

“Reminder that the things that you were gonna tweet but then were like ‘nah’ to are usually the sort of thing that others will screenshot against the inevitability of you deleting it once you start being ratioed, so…. yeah. This is actually not the answer to that,” novelist John Scalzi said.

The new feature comes at a time when Twitter is once again under fire from Congress. For the second time in two months, the chief executives of Twitter and Facebook—Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg—are testifying Tuesday before a Senate committee over supposed anti-conservative bias by the tech industry.

This time, it is the Senate Judiciary Committee, asking questions of the CEOs over their handling of the election, specifically the many disclaimers that have been placed on tweets by President Trump. Many such tweets have spread false conspiracy theories about the election, vote-counting and other aspects of the presidential election.

A different Senate committee, the Commerce Committee, had held a hearing in October, with Zuckerberg, Dorsey and Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, which specifically focused on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Next, Twitter is facing the question of whether President Trump’s Twitter account will outlast his presidency. Twitter has a “public interest” policy that gives a certain amount of leeway to the accounts of world leaders, something that will no longer apply to Trump’s account once he leaves office. While it has placed disclaimers on many of the president’s tweets, Twitter has never suspended or banned his account.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters





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Josh Hawley Claims He Has Evidence of Coordinated Censorship by Google, Facebook, Twitter



Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) says he has been approached by a Facebook whistleblower who alleges coordination between Facebook, Google, and Twitter to suppress and censor their platforms.

Hawley announced via his Twitter account that the whistleblower has provided him with evidence of the alleged coordination, and that he will question Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg about it at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow, where both CEOs will testify.

The Missouri senator, a vocal critic of big tech, says the whistleblower has also alleged that Facebook has an internal platform to manage the coordinated censorship.

“I’ve heard from [A Facebook] whistleblower who revealed Facebook and Google and Twitter coordinate to censor,” said Hawley. “Facebook has an internal platform to manage it. I’ll be asking Mark Zuckerberg and [Jack Dorsey] about this at tomorrow’s hearing.”

As Breitbart News’ Lucas Nolan reported earlier today, Big Tech censorship against President Trump continues to escalate:

Breitbart News has reported extensively on social media websites increasing their censorship leading up to the 2020 Presidential election. Twitter stated last week that it put labels on 300,000 user posts from October 27 to November 11 for violating rules related to election misinformation. Twitter also implemented a retweet feature that required users to add their own comments before retweeting a post on the platform.

Between election day and Friday of last week, Twitter labeled around 34 percent of President Trump’s tweets and retweets as “disputed.” Breitbart News has reported extensively on this, noting recently that 25 of President Trump’s posts across Twitter and Facebook were labeled or disputed within 24 hours.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing will take place Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern time.

The hearing’s topic focuses squarely on the widespread censorship of news and political speech that occurred in the weeks and months leading up to election day 2020. The hearing’s title is “Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election.”

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. His new book, #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election, which contains exclusive interviews with sources inside Google, Facebook, and other tech companies, is currently available for purchase.





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‘Flipping states, pancakes and senate seats’: Twitter users hijack pro-Trump rally’s ‘Million MAGA March’ hashtag


TORONTO —
Twitter users, TikTok stars and K-pop fans alike launched an online attack against the pro-Trump ‘Million MAGA March’ in Washington, D.C., Saturday, flooding the hashtag with jokes about pancakes in an effort to draw attention away from the march.

By mid-morning Saturday, the #MillionMAGAMarch hashtag was overwhelmed with pictures of pancakes, fritters, and jokes about blueberry pancakes in honour of Republican states turning blue.

“Make America pancakes again,” declared one Twitter user, garnering thousands of shares. “Flipping states, pancakes, and senate seats.”

The call to action was mobilized Wednesday by TikTok star Shea Depmore after she urged people to overwhelm the hashtag with “syrupy goodness” in a bid to redirect attention away from the protests, planned by pro-Trump protesters echoing unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the U.S. election.

And social media users did not waffle.

Despite the march’s slogan promising a million protesters, only a few thousand of them took to the streets of Washington Saturday. Far-right and pro-Trump groups including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and QAnon have said they would be in attendance.

 

U.S. President Donald Trump’s motorcade drove past the crowd Saturday morning after promising on Twitter he would attend. The crowd chanted “USA, USA” as he drove by, waving from his car.​ 



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