Made-in-India rival Koo has offered to migrate all historical tweets of Twitter users willing to switch to its platform that will not charge users for verification badges, its co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna said.
Upon taking over Twitter in October, Elon Musk has sacked its employees, overhauled its moderation policies, charged for verification, and restored previously banned accounts, including former US President Donald Trump’s.
Following strong criticism from government officials, journalists’ organizations, and advocacy groups, he reinstated the accounts of several prominent journalists who had been covering him in recent days.
As of now, Koo, which allows users to express views in Indian languages, has crossed 50 million downloads. It is now wooing Twitter users with self-verification and a free yellow verification tag.
Now, it is offering to migrate any tweet, excluding replies, likes, or resharing, to Koo in order to avoid “intellectual assassination” resulting from Twitter account suspension.
In the 45 odd days since Twitter became one man’s megaphone, a lot has happened, Radhakrishna told PTI, calling Twitter now a “personal property of the world’s smartest and richest man”.
As a result of the suspension of several prominent journalists’ accounts, including those of The New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post, and the subsequent restoration of those accounts, a very important point is brought to light, especially for journalists and creative individuals, he said.
Suspension essentially means that you lose access to years of creativity, ideas, connections, and insights if you are someone who speaks their mind and engages in discussion and debate.
All because of a new rule that came into effect yesterday and no one understands it fully. All the intellectual work of several years has resulted in a blank screen.
Koo has devised a simple and elegant solution to escape this “blackhole”, according to Mr Radhakrishna. “Migrate to Koo!”
The settings feature a simple and elegant button for migrating all your tweets to Koo. Using the migrate button and following the simple instructions on screen, all your tweets will be seamlessly transferred to Koo. “All historic original tweets will be migrated to Koo,” he said. Additionally, all accounts a migrating user may follow on Twitter, and if available on Koo, can be followed by a simple click.
It is important to note, however, that followers of the migrating Twitter user will not be migrated unless they also switch to Koo. You can find your friends and followers on Koo and start interacting with them.
It is Koo’s belief that people should be able to have trustworthy and healthy conversations with each other. The government offered voluntary self-verification for free earlier this year, and more than 1,25,000 Indians have taken advantage of it.
One man has the power to wipe out your digital existence and remove all traces of your creativity in this day and age. History and creativity cannot be held hostage by a USD 44 billion toy.” he said.
Go ahead, escape Twitter and engage in a platform that truly sets you free by expressing yourself in a language of choice,” he says.
Founder of TaxiForSure (which was acquired by Ola for USD 200 million in 2015), Mr Radhakrishna launched Koo, a language-focused microblogging platform, in early 2020.
The site was intended as a hyperlocal, homegrown Twitter alternative. According to Koo, eminence is a recognition of a person’s impact, stature, achievements, abilities, or professional status, and he awards yellow ticks against user profiles based on transparent, predefined criteria reflecting regional ethos and achievements.
He said the Koo Eminence Tick cannot be purchased and is granted forever. In response to the suspension of journalist accounts, Tesla’s shares slumped by 4.7% on Friday, registering their worst weekly loss since March 2020, following Mr Musk’s declaration of himself as a “free speech absolutist.”
On Saturday, they were restored. On Friday, Twitter suspended an official account belonging to Koo that had been set up to answer user questions. Kooeminence’s account has been suspended, and its tweets are no longer visible when visiting the account.
Koo co-founder Mayank Bidawatka took to Twitter to express his grief over the loss, stating his platform is the best alternative to Twitter.
As I’ve said before, Koo is the best alternative to Twitter. The migration tools are available. Koo is what it is because of you and millions of other users like us,” he said.
Additionally, he questioned the rationale behind the suspension, saying, “This isn’t democracy. This is a strong need to exercise power and control. We need to speak out!”
Additionally, Twitter has blocked users from tweeting links to some Mastodon servers – another major competitor.
Mr Bidawatka wrote, “Not allowing mastodon links, saying it’s unsafe. Banning Koo’s eminence handle. Really. How much more control does he need?”
We have never created policies out of thin air. Everything is user-focused and transparent. It’s time to take action instead of just talking.”
In a statement to PTI, Mr Radhakrishna said Koo is also an unwitting victim of one man’s mission and its account was suspended for circumventing Twitter’s policy for evading bans.
“Mastodon has also faced a similar fate for a vague crime that didn’t exist until a couple of days ago,” he added.
In a series of tweets, Bidawatka questioned the rationale behind suspending the @kooeminence account, which was created only a few days ago to handle queries from celebrities and VIPs.
“Posting publicly available information isn’t doxxing. Why shoot the messenger? The journalists who posted links did nothing wrong. Posting a link to publicly available information isn’t doxxing.
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