Tuesday January 28, 2020
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Here’s Why Twitter’s Rival Social Network Mastodon Trending in India

Twitter India on Thursday said that it is an impartial platform and does not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint

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

Mastodon, a little known micro-blogging platform first released in 2016, has suddenly sparked interest among disgruntled Twitter users.

Some of these users who have accused Twitter of discriminating against the marginalised claimed that they have already created Mastodon accounts for saner conversations.

“I have mentioned my #Mastodon account here. If you have a Mastodon account please follow me. Let’s get out of this toxic Twitter,” said one user.

“Because @TwitterIndia is suppressing dissent, selectively suspending liberal accounts, throttling the reach while taking no action against those who are spreading hate/violence, many folks have migrated to #Mastodon,” wrote another user.

As rumours about Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi opening accounts on Mastodon also circulated on social media, the party came out with a tweet to put speculation to rest.

“This is to clarify that the accounts of Shri @RahulGandhi, Smt. @priyankagandhi or that of INC India on Social Media platform, Mastodon are not authentic,” the official Twitter account of the Congress party said on Friday.

Mastodon allows users to do many things that one can do on Twitter – publish posts and follow others. But compared to Twitter’s over 300 million users, it has just about 2.2 million users.

But getting into this decentralised and open source network is not as easy as opening a Twitter account.

Created by Eugen Rochko, who is now 26 years old, Mastodon is made up of many servers and all of them can have their own rules.

The co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Twitter- Jack Dorsey. Wikimedia Commons

As Rochko explained in an interview to web and podcast network magazine Slate last year, Mastodon is a “federated platform” – a collection of servers and websites.

“Centralisation is not just centralisation of power, but centralisation of data as well. So the more data a platform like Facebook collects it’s all in one place. It’s easy to access and to analyse,” Rochko was quoted as saying.

“With Mastodon, the data is separated. Every server stores only the data of its local signed-up users and the data that they subscribe to from their friends. If you take the data just from one server, you don’t have a lot,” Rochko added.

The interest in Mastodon increased in India after Twitter found itself in the midst of a controversy surrounding its rules.

Also Read: Hyderabad Acknowledged as The Most ‘Vegan-Friendly City’ for Year 2019

The row started after the accounts of a number of Twitter users, including the account of senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde, were suspended or curtailed.

Apart from Hegde, senior columnist Dilip C. Mandal got briefly restricted. But Mandal continued the tirade against Twitter. As others joined him, a flurry of tweets followed under #CasteistTwitter, #JaiBhimTwitter and #cancelallBlueTicksinIndia over the course of this week.

Twitter India on Thursday said that it is an impartial platform and does not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint.

“There’s been a lot of discussion this week about Twitter’s perceived bias in India. To be clear, whether it’s the development of policies, product features, or enforcement of our rules, we are impartial and do not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint,” Twitter India said. (IANS)

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Novel Coronavirus: Government Deploys Health Team on Nepal Border

Many Indian students studying in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak have been stuck there

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Coronavirus
The Coronavirus outbreak, which has so far caused 41 deaths in China, and caused the country to quarantine 16 cities, is causing comparisons to the 2003 spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which decreased the value of the global economy by $40 billion. VOA

In the wake of a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Nepal, the Union Health Ministry has subsequently strengthened its vigil in the areas bordering Nepal.

The recent deployment of health team has taken place at Panitanki in West Bengal, entry point from Nepal, said the Health Ministry on Monday.

“Update on #ncov2020 – Subsequent to confirmed #coronarvirus case in #Nepal, vigil strengthened at Panitanki (West Bengal) entry point from Nepal,” the ministry tweeted.

Earlier on Sunday the ministry had informed that in response to confirmed case of the new virus in the neighbourhood country Nepal, India stepped up vigil in districts bordering Nepal. The health ministry said that teams of medical experts were also deployed at border outpost with Nepal at Jhulaghat and Jauljibi in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.

Coronavirus
Southeast Asia’s proximity to China and dependence on that nation for a major share of its economy is raising concerns that the coronavirus outbreak  that started there will not only have health impacts but harm the region’s economies. VOA

In continuation of its efforts to stop the virus from entering in India and making the passengers aware, the ministry has also displayed signage advising the passengers for self reporting and other precautions, disseminated through advisories, at the Mumbai airport.

According to the health ministry, a total of 29,707 passengers from 137 flights have been screened. Fortunately, no case of coronavirus has been found till date.

Also Read: Patients May Suffer Invasive Treatments for Harmless Cancers: Researchers

According to the announcement made by Chinese health authorities on Monday, 2,744 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), including 461 in critical condition and a total of 5,794 suspected cases have also been reported. The killer virus has caused 80 deaths in China, as per Chinese authorities.

Many Indian students studying in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak have been stuck there. The health ministry said it is working closely with the Ministry of External Affairs and is in touch with the students. (IANS)