Tuesday January 28, 2020
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Twitter India Finds Itself in the Midst of Another Caste Row

Some users pointed out that the official accounts of India's Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Minority Affairs were not verified on Twitter

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twitter, white swan, suicide, awareness
Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

After Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey found himself in the midst of a controversy following a picture of him holding a placard saying “smash Brahminical patriarchy” went viral during his India visit last November, Twitter India finds itself in the midst of another caste row.

This time Twitter has been accused of discriminating against Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Class (OBC) activists.

In a statement to IANS on Tuesday, a Twitter spokesperson said the platform’s “commitment to inclusion and diversity is fundamental to who we are at Twitter and crucial to the effectiveness of our service.”

“Members of marginalised groups come to Twitter every day to express themselves, shed light on important issues, and join a community of allies,” the spokesperson added.

The row started after the account of senior columnist Dilip C. Mandal got restricted. He later got back the account. But Mandal continued the tirade against Twitter. As others joined him, flurry of tweets followed under #CasteistTwitter, #JaiBhimTwitter and #SackManishMaheswari. Manish Maheshwari is the Twitter India Managing Director.

In his tweets on November 3, Supreme Court lawyer Nitin Meshram summarised the grievances.

“What is our grievance: 1. #Twitter India is discriminating against Sc-St-OBC activists in suspending & verifying their accounts. 2. Twitter lacks uniform rules & therefore, #CasteistTwitter suppress Dalit, OBC, & Tribal activists by unequal reference to its rules.
#JaiBhimTwitter

“3. Without @verified badge, Dalit, OBC, & Tribals are not authentic in digital world. They are vulnerable to fake, fraud, & clone accounts. 4. All stalwarts of Dalits, OBCs, & Tribals are denied @verified badge, whereas, pigmies of other castes have been adorned with blue tick,” he alleged.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Denying the allegations, the Twitter spokesperson said it has “one set of Twitter Rules”.

“To make it clear, we have one set of Twitter Rules and we enforce our policies judiciously and impartially for all individuals — regardless of their political beliefs, religious ideology, professional position or background,” the spokesperson said.

“We have ongoing efforts to provide local market context when developing and enforcing our global policies. We extensively cover gender and religion (including caste) in our trainings, to provide reviewers with the local context they need to evaluate content. Our Hateful Conduct Policy prohibits behavior that targets individuals based on protected categories (including caste),” the spokesperson added.

Some users pointed out that the official accounts of India’s Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Minority Affairs were not verified on Twitter.

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“@TwitterIndia has not even verified Govt of India’s owned handle just because it is minority, tribal and social justice ministry,” said one user.

“As we have publicly stated on a number of occasions, our public verification process is currently closed. However, on a case-by-case basis we do verify people who are active in the public conversation on Twitter,” the Twitter spokesperson said.

“For example, we work with political parties to verify candidates, elected officials, and relevant party officials around the time of elections. We have a dedicated global process for managing these selected verifications,” the statement said, adding that Twitter has worked with various groups across India, including organisations focused on caste, to get feedback on their experience using Twitter. (IANS)

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Google to Test More Variations for Desktop Search Results

Google announces on Twitter to test more desktop Search design after backlash

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Google
After facing backlash from its users, Google announced on Twitter that it will test more variations to the desktop search results. Pixabay

After facing backlash from its users, Google announced on Twitter that it will test more variations and changes to the desktop search results.

Last week, Google introduced a new design for desktop Search that adds site afavicons’ to every result which did not go well with users.

A ‘favicon’, also known as a shortcut icon, website icon, tab icon, URL icon, or bookmark icon, is a file containing one or more small icons, associated with a particular website or web page.

In a tweet, Google said it has heard the feedback from users.

Google
Google introduced a new design for desktop Search that adds site afavicons’ to every result which did not go well with users. Pixabay

“Last week we updated the look of Search on desktop to mirror what’s been on mobile for months. We’ve heard your feedback about the update. We always want to make Search better, so we’re going to experiment with new placements for favicons,” the tech company tweeted late Friday.

“Our experimenting will begin today. Over the coming weeks, while we test, some might not see favicons while some might see them in different placements as we look to bring a modern look to desktop Search,” Google added.

Not just SEOs and SEMs but a wider set of searchers and Google users criticized the desktop Search changes.

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“Our early tests of the design for desktop were positive. But we appreciate the feedback, the trust people place in Google, and we’re dedicated to improving the experience,” said Google.

“Web publishers have also told us they like having their brand iconography on the search results page. We are experimenting with a change to the current desktop favicons, and will continue to iterate on the design over time,” it added. (IANS)