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PM Narendra Modi Drops ‘Chowkidar’ from Twitter Handle

Soon after, the Prime Minister added ‘Chowkidar’ prefix to his Twitter handle, and several BJP leaders followed

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Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday dropped the ‘Chowkidar’ (watchman) prefix from his official Twitter handle and urged BJP leaders to do the same.

As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to sweep the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he tweeted: “The people of India became Chowkidars and rendered great service to the nation. Chowkidar has become a powerful symbol to safeguard India from the evils of casteism, communalism, corruption and cronyism. Now, the time has come to take the Chowkidar spirit to the next level.”

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering in New Delhi, India. VOA

“Keep this spirit alive at every moment and continue working for India’s progress. The word ‘Chowkidar’ goes from my Twitter name but it remains an integral part of me. Urging you all to do the same too,” he added.

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In March, Modi tweeted a video with the hashtag ‘#MainBhiChowkidar’ (I am also a watchman) and called all those a watchman who are fighting corruption, dirt, social evils and are working for the progress of India.

Soon after, the Prime Minister added ‘Chowkidar’ prefix to his Twitter handle, and several BJP leaders followed. (IANS)

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Micro-blogging Site Twitter Aims to Restrict Users, Not World Leaders Like Trump

"These are constantly evolving challenges and we'll keep our policies and approach under advisement, particularly as we learn more about the relationship between Tweets from world leaders and the potential for offline harm," it added

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Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

Stating that world leaders are not above its policies “entirely,” Twitter has decided to restrict how users can interact with harmful tweets from world leaders who break its rules, but did not clarify whether it will remove or block the world leader like US President Donald Trump from doing so.

The micro-blogging platform said it will not allow users to like, reply, share or retweet offending posts from world leaders.

“You will not be able to like, reply, share, or Retweet the Tweet in question. You will still be able to express your opinion with Retweet with Comment,” the company said on Tuesday.

“Our goal is to enforce our rules judiciously and impartially. In doing so, we aim to provide direct insight into our enforcement decision-making, to serve public conversation, and protect the public’s right to hear from their leaders and to hold them to account,” it added.

Twitter has been facing pressure to take action against US President Donald Trump for posting controversial tweets, but the micro-blogging platform has been evading action.

Earlier this month, California Senator Kamala Harris, who is a 2020 Democrat presidential candidate, asked Twitter to suspend Trump’s account for attacking lawmakers and the whistleblower behind a complaint on his shady dealings with Ukraine.

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A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

“Trump’s Twitter account should be suspended. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that he is irresponsible with his words in a way that could result in harm as the privilege of using those words in that way should probably be taken from him,” Harris told CNN.

Trump has repeatedly used Twitter to attack his political opponents.

In a series of tweets, he said that House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff should be arrested for treason for exaggerating parts of phone call Trump had with Zelensky.

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If a tweet from a world leader does violate its rules, but there is a clear public interest value to keeping the Tweet on the service, the company said on Tuesday that it “may place it behind a notice that provides context about the violation and allows people to click through should they wish to see the content”.

“With critical elections and shifting political dynamics around the world, we recognise that we’re operating in an increasingly complex and polarised political culture,” said Twitter.

“These are constantly evolving challenges and we’ll keep our policies and approach under advisement, particularly as we learn more about the relationship between Tweets from world leaders and the potential for offline harm,” it added. (IANS)