Twitter India's Country Director on some of the most controversial aspects the online platform is facing
A plan to address trolls and online abusers will be among top priorities for Twitter India in 2018, the company has said. With increasing allegations that Twitter can take action against online abuse, but doesn't, Twitter India's Country Director Taranjeet Singh told NDTV, "For us user safety is of utmost important. Probably one of our key priorities now and going into 2018... If you are not seen following the guidelines appropriate action will be taken."
"We are also helping people understand how they can report abusive language or trolls or things that are inappropriate," added Mr Singh, while speaking on some of the most controversial aspects the online platform is facing.
Asked about why there should still be trends with the growing reality of trends actually being manufactured by paid armies, especially in the political space, Mr Singh suggested trends are what makes Twitter but declined to make a clear statement about what the company plans to do to address the problem.
"As we know news today first breaks on Twitter, trends are super important because what people care about or what they talk about, or the things that are happening as they break across the world, they happen on Twitter first, trends are a great place to come and see what people are talking about and join conversations. That's what I would have to say," he said.
Twitter's foray into becoming a platform that offers more nuance is also here to stay. That means 280 characters are here to stay. Mr Singh, who is a biker and a parantha
lover, confirmed the development adding that "It has helped people express themselves better in different languages on Twitter."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains the undisputed king of the Twitter space in India and his followers have grown by 52 per cent this year, but when asked about him following accounts of some trolls and abusers, Mr Singh stated that "we don't have separate rules for different people."
As for the rise of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Twitter, Mr Singh refused to comment on the allegations of bots being behind it, but added "Leaders across the world use our platform to connect with their fans and followers; great to see Rahul Gandhi use the platform well and also he has come into the top 10 most spoken about politicians last year."
Twitter also revealed that both Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar have entered the list of the top 10 most followed Indians on Twitter. Virat Kohli's growth though is the most amongst the top 10, at 61 per cent.
After the spectacular performance of the Indian women's cricket team in the 2017 World Cup, #WWC17 became the most Tweeted hashtag for women's sports in India.
#INDvPAK the biggest rivalry clash broke all the records in 2017. #CT17 saw the record for the most tweeted One-Day International of all time being broken by the India vs Pakistan final with 1.8 million tweets.
Mr Singh also highlighted how it is "Amazing to see External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Uttar Pradesh Police using the platform (Twitter) to help people."
"We have the world's largest police force using Twitter in terms of customer service, all the organisations that have started using Twitter have better trust, more transparency, UP Police is a case study, what they are doing is phenomenal, not only do they just respond to complaints but they are rolling out initiatives like they did last month on the girl child. We have seen it with our External Affairs Minister, and that is amazing to use the government use it effectively to build the brand," he said.