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Rising popularity: MEA following on social media hits 3 million mark


New Delhi: The following of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on social media platforms has hit a 3.8 million mark which does not include the missions abroad.

MEA’s monthly following on Facebook is 15 million and 17.5 million on Twitter while the followers of Indian Diplomacy facebook page and MEA India facebook page have increased considerably to 8,17,513 and 11,91, 214 respectively.

The number of people adding the MEA India G+ page to their inner circles is fast expanding and has crossed 7,83,768, according to the Ministry’s annual report.

The Indian diplomacy Twitter account and the official spokesperson’s twitter account have a combined followership of 10,32,930.

The Ministry in order to increase its presence on social media platforms has roped in missions and posts abroad to communicate directly with the local population of the host countries as well as the Indian diaspora.

At present, around 149 Indian missions around the world (95%) have a Facebook presence. They have been standardized under one title example: ”India in USA”, “India in Ireland”.

The accounts are used to put information about India like investments in India, participation in programmes such as ”Make in India” , “Digital India” and also about a particular embassy activity of a country. More than 90 missions and posts are also active on Twitter. The ministry is working to standardize names on Twitter as well.

The number of viewers of documentaries and films on Indian diplomacy Youtube channel has also increased to 63,81,147. The Flickr account is a good ‘repository’ of photos of major events of the ministry.


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Parliamentary Committee To Summon WhatsApp, Facebook Besides Twitter

According to him, Twitter does not review, prioritise or enforce its policies on the basis of political ideology

WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Besides Twitter, the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology (IT) will also summon Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to hear them on alleged bias towards certain type of posts, panel chief Anurag Thakur said on Friday.

“The Parliamentary Committee on IT will examine the issue of ‘Safeguarding citizen rights on social/online news media platforms’,” tweeted Thakur, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh.

“The following will present their positions: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram,” he added.

Twitter has already confirmed that Colin Crowell, its global Vice President of Public Policy, would face the Parliamentary Committee on IT on February 25.

Twitter CEO
This April 26, 2017, photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. According to a study released Jan. 24, 2019, a tiny fraction of Twitter users spread the vast majority of fake news in 2016, with conservatives and older people sharing misinformation more. VOA

Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram top brass may be summoned in the first week of March.

In a statement given to IANS, the micro-blogging platform said the 2019 Lok Sabha election is a key priority for Twitter.

“We thank the Parliamentary Committee for its invitation to hear Twitter’s views on ‘Safeguarding citizen rights on social/online news media platforms’,” said a Twitter spokesperson.

“These are issues for all Internet services globally. Colin Crowell, global Vice President of Public Policy for Twitter, will meet with the Committee on Monday,” the spokesperson added.

The government has accused Twitter of being “slow” in removing “objectionable content” and “political bias” from its platform.

The House panel had earlier summoned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over measures taken to ensure the safety and security of the users and allegations that the social media site was discriminating against “nationalist” posts on its platform.

Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

In the absence of Dorsey, Crowell will represent Twitter during the 31-member parliamentary panel hearing.

In an earlier statement, Crowell said that India is one of its fastest-growing audience markets globally.

“We are committed to surfacing all sides of the conversation as we enter the election season in this extraordinarily diverse cultural, political and social climate,” noted Crowell.

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According to him, Twitter does not review, prioritise or enforce its policies on the basis of political ideology.

“Every tweet and every account is treated impartially. We apply our policies fairly and judiciously for all,” Crowell added.

The Twitter hearing comes at a time when the Indian government has also formulated new IT guidelines where social media platforms have to remove within 24 hours any unlawful content that can affect the “sovereignty and integrity of India.” (IANS)