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Actress Sonam Kapoor Takes a Break From Twitter

The "Khoobsurat" actress uses the digital platform to promote her films, fashion label and also to speak up on various issues including harassment

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Sonam Kapoor
Sonam Kapoor (Wikimedia Commons)

Actress Sonam Kapoor Ahuja has taken a break from the micro-blogging site Twitter as it’s “too negative”.

“I’m going off twitter for a while. It’s just too negative. Peace and love to all,” Sonam Kapoor tweeted on Saturday.

Earlier this week, a Twitter user wrote: “Sonam, it’s because of people like you, who don’t use public transport or less fuel consumption vehicles. You know that your luxury car gives three or four km per litre mileage and 10/20 ACs in your house are equally responsible for global warming. First control your pollution.”

Sonam Kapoor goes off Twitter for a while
Sonam Kapoor goes off Twitter for a while, IANS

In response, Sonam Kapoor tweeted: “And it’s because of men like you that women find it difficult to use public transport for fear of being harassed.”

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The “Khoobsurat” actress uses the digital platform to promote her films, fashion label and also to speak up on various issues including harassment. (IANS)

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Twitter Launches New Gratitude Emoji in India

The new gratitude emoji that can be triggered with '#thankful', #gratitude' ,etc

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twitter
Twitter India has launched a gratitude emoji. Pixabay

Micro-blogging platform Twitter India on Wednesday launched a new gratitude emoji that can be triggered with ‘#thankful’, #gratitude’ and other variations of the words.

Since March 15, there have been over 250 million tweets worldwide expressing gratitude and thanks – a 26 per cent increase from February’s average.

“Who do we see people expressing that gratitude for? The most common word is ‘everyone’. Everyone who is an essential worker. Everyone who has helped. Everyone in healthcare. Everyone who has reached out. Everyone,” the company tweeted.

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“To give you another way to show your gratitude, we’ve created an emoji that will appear when you use #thankful or other hashtags for #gratitude (in various languages),”, the company tweeted. Pixabay

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“To give you another way to show your gratitude, we’ve created an emoji that will appear when you use #thankful or other hashtags for #gratitude (in various languages),” it added.

Earlier in April, on WorldHealthDay, Twitter had also sent out a token of appreciation for healthcare workers by tweeting with ‘clap’.

The platform recently onboarded the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (@MoHFW_INDIA) to Twitter Seva to help Indians with a speedy resolution to their health-related queries. (IANS)

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Our Work Has Become More Critical Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: Twitter India

The company has also increased its use of machine learning and automation to take a wide range of actions on potentially abusive and manipulative content

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Twitter
Since introducing its updated policies on March 18, Twitter has removed more than 2,400 tweets containing misleading and potentially harmful content. Pixabay

As disinformation related to COVID-19 is spreading faster than the virus itself, micro -blogging platform Twitter feels that its work has never been more critical and its service has never been in higher demand than ever before globally, including in India.

The power of a uniquely open service during a public health emergency is crystal clear, says Mahima Kaul, Director, Public Policy, India and South Asia at Twitter, adding that they are continuing to review the rules in the context of COVID-19 and considering ways in which they may need to evolve to account for new behaviours.

Since introducing its updated policies on March 18, Twitter has removed more than 2,400 tweets containing misleading and potentially harmful content. “Our automated systems have challenged more than 3.4 million accounts targeting manipulative discussions around COVID-19. We will continue to use both technology and our teams to help us identify and stop spammy behaviour and accounts,” Kaul told IANS.

Twitter has received positive response to its efforts in curbing COVID-19 related fake news and misinformation in India. The efforts include an events page dedicated to COVID-19 information called “Coronavirus Tweets from Indian authorities”, which is essentially a timeline of tweets from verified Indian officials and bodies such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@narendramodi), Health Minister Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan), the official Citizen Engagement Platform of the Government of Indian (@mygovindia, Press Information Bureau (@PIB_India) and other state and Central ministers, as well as public health agencies.

“Every account holder in India can see this page on the top of their home timeline. If someone has their settings set to Hindi, then they will see the same page with Hindi Tweets. The timeline also lets people track developments around the latest social distancing and healthcare information,” informed Kaul. The platform recently onboarded the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (@MoHFW_INDIA) to Twitter Seva to help Indians with a speedy resolution to their health-related queries.

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“This public service is allowing the Ministry to communicate effectively and at scale with the public, especially in crisis situations like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The dedicated account @CovidIndiaSeva establishes a direct channel between the Government and citizens to provide access to authoritative health and public information,” Kaul elaborated.

She said that Twitter India is regularly working with trusted partners, including public health authorities, researchers, NGOs, and governments to keep improving its fight against COVID-19. “To tackle misinformation related to COVID-19, we have broadened our definition of harm and expanded our safety rules to address content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources with the intent to influence people into acting against recommended guidance,” said Kaul.

Twitter
As disinformation related to COVID-19 is spreading faster than the virus itself, micro -blogging platform Twitter feels that its work has never been more critical and its service has never been in higher demand than ever before globally, including in India. Pixabay

The company has also increased its use of machine learning and automation to take a wide range of actions on potentially abusive and manipulative content. “Additionally, we’re continuing to review and require the removal of Tweets that do not follow the Twitter Rules – half of which we catch before they’re ever reported to us. We continue to remain vigilant,” Kaul added.

Twitter is releasing a new endpoint into Twitter Developer Labs to enable approved developers and researchers to study the public conversation about COVID-19 in real-time. Tweets by people on the service will be made available to researchers and developers for free. According to Kaul, the data will help research the spread of the disease, understand the spread of misinformation, crisis management, emergency response, and communication within communities.

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“As we’ve said on many occasions, our approach to protecting the public conversation is never static. That’s particularly relevant in these unprecedented times. We intend to review our thinking daily and will ensure we’re sharing updates on any new clarifications to our rules or major changes to how we’re enforcing them,” Kaul told IANS. (IANS)

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Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Struggle to Remove Pandemic Conspiracy Video Called Plandemic

Social media platforms struggling with removal of pandemic conspiracy video.

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Facebook, YouTube, Twitter
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter struggling to take down Pandemic conspiracy videos. Pixabay

Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are finding it difficult to remove a coronavirus conspiracy video called Plandemic that has spread faster that the virus and can still be accessed on these platforms.

The 26-minute video features a famous vaccine conspiracist who defy the advice of medical experts like saying that “sheltering in place harms consumers’ immune systems and that masks can make people sicker”.

“The video tries to argue that the coronavirus pandemic was created to make profits off vaccines,” reports CNBC.

The video features Judy Mikovits, a figure best known for her anti-vaccine activism in recent years.

The video on Facebook received more than 1.7 million views as of Thursday and been shared more than 140,000 times.

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Social media platforms struggle to remove conspiracy video plandemic. Pixabay

One of the YouTube videos had received more than 1 million views before it was removed, according to the MIT Technology Review.

According to Twitter, “tweets by Mikovits apparently don’t violate the platform’s rules around COVID-19 misinformation, but it has marked the video’s URL as “unsafe” and blocked the related hashtags.

A Facebook spokeswoman earlier said the video “is eligible for fact-checkers to review and rate.”

Later, the spokeswoman said that “Suggesting that wearing a mask can make you sick could lead to imminent harm, so we’re removing the video”. However, it was still streaming on the platform till late Thursday.

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In the video, Mikovits accuses Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of suppressing treatments like hydroxychloroquine � falsely touted by President Donald Trump as a wonder drug to cure coronavirus. (IANS)