IT Ministry organisations move to microblogging platform Koo, as government mulls action against Twitter

The Ministry of Electronics and IT had served a notice asking Twitter to block around 257 tweets and Twitter accounts that had been tweeting about the farmer protests.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and a dozen of its organisations have moved to a homegrown Twitter-alternative platform called Koo App after the microblogging giant failed to respond to a notice filed by the government last week.

The government is also mulling suspending Twitter in India for some time to put pressure on the social media giant to respond to its directive. It may lodge an FIR soon too, experts and sources inside the government told YourStory.

MeitY had filed a notice with Twitter last week urging it to block around 257 tweets and Twitter account that were tweeting about farmer genocide. Twitter, so far, has not responded to the notice.

On February 4, it sent another notice to Twitter, asking it to remove over 1,000 accounts flagged by the country's security agencies as those belonging to Khalistan sympathisers, or backed by Pakistan.

Twitter India's public policy head Mahima Kaul tendered her resignation over the weekend.

For now, verified handles of Ministry of Electronics and IT, MyGov, Digital India, India Post, NIC, NIELIT, SAMEER, Common Services Center, UMANG app, Digi Locker, NIXI, STPI, CDAC, and CMET, among others, were visible on Koo.

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad joined Koo in August last year after the app won the government-led Aatmanirbhar Bharat Innovation Challenge. More than 4.29 lakh people follow him on the platform.

The move by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology signals the government's search for an alternative social media platform to Twitter in case the microblogging platform faces any penal action by the government, or gets suspended in India.

Sources inside the government have told media publications that Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO, who had liked some tweets in support of the farmers' protests, including ones by global pop icon Rihanna, cast doubt over the platform's commitment to 'neutrality' and how it will respond to recent requests by the country to suspend certain accounts.