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PM Narendra Modi’s Demonetisation Move on November 8 was the most significant moment on Twitter in 2016

The government's flagship programme #MakeInIndia was one of the most popular hashtag trends of the year

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New Delhi, December 6, 2016: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move on November 8 was the most significant moment on Twitter in 2016. The social network recorded 650,000 tweets in 24 hours following the announcement and millions more tweets in the following weeks, the company announced on Tuesday.

Virat Kohli’s tweet in support of actor Anushka Sharma was the ‘Golden Tweet’ of 2016.

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“He encouraged his fans and critics, who attributed his outstanding performance in the ICC World T20 to their break-up, to focus instead on empathy and community building,” Twitter said in a statement.

Women athletes P.V. Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar won a million hearts on Twitter during the Rio Olympics, making #Rio2016 the top hashtag trend of the year.

With seven of the top 10 hashtags this year related to the #Rio2016 Olympics and #WT20 cricket, sports dominated the trending Twitter conversations for the nation.

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The government’s flagship programme #MakeInIndia was also one of the most popular hashtag trends of the year with its global appeal.

The list of the most followed Indians on Twitter in 2016 saw Modi (@NarendraModi) finally reaching the top position with 25.2 million followers (as on December 5), by adding a whopping 8.8 million followers this year alone.

Right behind Modi are Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan with 23.8 million followers, and Shah Rukh Khan with 22.4 million followers. Priyanka Chopra, who has earned international fame, has 15.7 million followers on Twitter.

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“Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan graced his fans on Twitter with his presence by joining the platform on Republic Day. The actor made a memorable first tweet with a video of him singing the national anthem, composed by veteran music director Ilayaraja,” Twitter said.

Haasan garnered over 30,000 followers in 24 hours, which was a reflection of the admiration and support he receives from his fans. (IANS)

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Microblogging Site Twitter Releases Tweets Linked to Russia, Iran

"We may also release incremental additions to existing datasets if we believe the additional information could materially impact research findings," Twitter said

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Twitter releases data linked to Russian, Iranian info campaigns. Pixabay

With the goal of improving understanding of how foreign influence campings operate on Twitter, the microblogging site has now released massive datasets of accounts linked to potential influence campaigns originating in Russia and Iran.

These large datasets released this week comprise 3,841 accounts affiliated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), originating in Russia, and 770 other accounts, potentially originating in Iran.

Totalling over 360 gigabytes – including more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts ?the data store provides a picture of how state-sponsored agencies have used the Twitter platform, technology news website Ars Technica reported on Friday.

IRA allegedly ran information campaigns on several social media platforms to undermine the political process in the 2016 US presidential election.

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The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

With Twitter coming under scrutiny for its failure to stop the spread of misinformation during the election, the microblogging site, earlier this year, committed to the US Congress and the public to provide regular updates and information regarding its investigation into foreign interference in political conversations on Twitter.

Since that time, Twitter has shared examples of these types of content posted on Twitter by IRA and provided the public with a direct notice if they interacted with these accounts.

In August this year, Twitter also disclosed details of another attempted influence campaign it identified as potentially located within Iran.

The datasets released this week are aimed at enabling independent academic research and investigation into the nature of foreign influence campaigns, Twitter said.

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Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“We are committed to understanding how bad-faith actors use our services. We will continue to proactively combat nefarious attempts to undermine the integrity of Twitter, while partnering with civil society, government, our industry peers, and researchers to improve our collective understanding of coordinated attempts to interfere in the public conversation,” Twitter said.

A preliminary look at the data by Ars Technica revealed that a common tactic used by the IRA was to create “local news” accounts for major US cities, seeding them with posts linking to local news outlets.

The accounts, such as “Atlanta Online,” “Baltimore Online,” “Baton Rouge Voice,” “Chicago Daily News,” and “Dallas Top News” would also include tweet-length news headlines with no link, the report said.

Also Read- Habitability Of Surrounding Planets Affected By Super Flares Of Red Dwarfs: NASA

Twitter said if it identifies additional attempted information operations on Twitter in the future, it will release similar datasets in a timely fashion after completing its investigations.

“We may also release incremental additions to existing datasets if we believe the additional information could materially impact research findings,” Twitter said. (IANS)